Increasing Tennessee’s E-911 surcharge would help benefit emergency districts across the state.
That according to Putnam County E-911 Director Penny Foister. Foister said increasing the surcharge to $1.50 would provide additional funding for various projects.
“I know that it would help us greatly as far as keeping up with technology,” Foister said. “There’s things that we’re needing to do that we’ve not been able to do just because we don’t want to spend more than our allotted budget.”
Tennessee’s Emergency Communications Board (ECB) voted last week in favor of increasing the surcharge rate from the current amount of $1.16.
Foister said if implemented, residents would see the rate increase on their monthly phone bills.
“The $1.16 is collected each month. You’ll notice it on any of your phone bills and it’s the surcharge that’s on there, that $1.16 coming out of your phone bills,” Foister said. “That’s what that money is for, to keep your dispatch centers running.”
Putnam County was one of several Upper Cumberland E-911 districts who voiced support for the increase prior to last week’s vote. The proposal will need to be approved via a joint resolution by state lawmakers before being implemented.
“It’s still a long way off. It will be a long process,” Foister said. “If it does go through, it will help us make many improvements at Putnam County E-911.”
State ECB members approved the surcharge increase by a 6-3 vote.