BISMARCK, N.D. - Lawmakers are taking steps so that someone will always answer your call when you're in trouble. 9-1-1 fees are being increased in Morton and Burleigh County, as was voted on in the June 12 election this year.
Fifty cents a line per month is the increase that Morton and Burleigh County voters approved, though according to authorities on both sides of the river, that fee isn't quite enough.
"9-1-1 fees generally do not cover the costs of buying all of your equipment that you need, replacing radios, those types of things. The fees essentially are probably covering the cost of your dispatch and maybe a little bit more," said Bruce Strinden, Morton County chairman.
"I think our total budget is in the area of $3 million, and we take, in Burleigh county, about $1.1 million a year," said Mike Dannenfelzer, CenComm communications director.
The fees are being raised because of upcoming upgrades. CenComm, which services Mandan and Burleigh County, is building up the fund for a new building. The rest of Morton County receives services from State Radio, and are building up funds for upgrades.
"As time moves on, all of our emergency communications systems are going to be replaced with probably what I would call more interoperable systems," said Strinden.
Gaps in 9-1-1 funding are filled from County General Funds. The increases for both counties will take effect on Sept. 1.