Claremore Daily Progress

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January 4, 2013

E911 talks prompt outside counsel search

CLAREMORE — Planning for the new Rogers County E911 Center continues as the trust authority met Thursday for the first meeting of 2013 to discuss 911 fees for area agencies and building location.

The discussion also included the authority’s decision to seek outside legal counsel and possible accounting assistance.
The two issues came to light as the members became more familiar with the center’s finances.
Rogers County has more than 26,000 cellular users that pay a fee of 50 cents per month per phone line. These fees go to fund 911 services throughout the county.  
In the month of December, the county received about $24,000 in funding from these phone users.
This fee is not based on the billing address of the phone holder, but the location of which an individual establishes phone services. In other words if a resident of Rogers County purchases a cellular phone contract in the city of Owasso the fee would be collected by Tulsa County, according to E911 Director Janet Hamilton.
Additionally, the county receives approximately $32,000 a month from landline phones.
The two funding sources will serve as the primary funding mechanism for the E911 Center. Currently, the department is being supplemented by the Rogers County Commissioners budget.
Commissioners created the department in 2012, funding the 2012-13 budget for the department’s payroll.
After June 2013 E911 phone line fees and service fees will fund the department by each entity that joins the department, according to Rogers  County Commissioner Dan DeLozier.
Some of the expenses the department is currently incurring include $348,785 for dispatch salaries, $61,000 for administrator salary and approximately $14,000 for department travel.
These expenses are currently being paid through the commissioner’s budget.
In the coming months, the trust will determine the fee for each organization the uses the center that will fund these personnel expenses, relieving the commissioner’s budget.
To help with this process the trust authority is entertaining the idea of hiring an accountant to serve the authority.  

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