Columbus mayor chosen by governor for state commission | News
COLUMBUS, GA - Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has been chosen by Gov. Nathan Deal for a special task force to update Georgia's 911 funding model.
The State Commission includes 11 members from all over the state.
The State of Georgia’s current 911 funding model was created in 1977 and set a legislative cap of $1.50 a month per phone line, which is still in place today.
Since 1977, the advent and exponential growth of cellular/wireless telephone users has resulted in dramatically dwindling revenue for funding local 911 systems, while increasing demand for the service.
“The Governor’s Commission is timely”, said Mayor Tomlinson. “The City of Columbus has seen a 10% reduction in revenue just in the last two years as citizens are eliminating their home phone lines and utilizing only cell phones. That reduction in revenue resulted in our city’s 911 function being subsidized nearly $900,000 from the City's General Fund and Other Local Option Sales Tax revenues. Apparently, this challenge is occurring in communities around the state and the Governor has the foresight to want to find a workable solution”, Tomlinson explained.
Columbus’ 911 system is funded through landline charges of $1.50 per month and wireless charges of $1.00 per month currently.
Those fees no longer cover the cost of the 911 Public Safety function.
Columbus' 911 fee revenues for fiscal year 2012 were $2.7 million. The cost to operate the city’s 9-1-1 system was $3.6 million.
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