To the Journal editor:
On Tuesday, there is a millage proposal on the ballot for the operation of the Marquette County Central Dispatch Department.
The millage is a renewal (for 6 years) of 0.4862 of a mill and a restoration of 0.0108 of a mill; this is the amount that the millage voters approved in 2006 and had been reduced due to the Headlee provisions of the tax laws.
Central Dispatch proves 911 service to all of Marquette County and coordinates the response of over 40 Public Safety agencies to all types of emergencies. There are 11 dispatchers using computer aided dispatch, digital mapping systems, computer telephony including 911, digital recording systems, state and national computer systems to query wanted persons, stolen vehicles, missing persons, etc.
Central dispatch also operates and uses VHF paging and radio channels at eight towers countrywide, and an 800 MHz digital radio system.
This millage is the primary funding source for the central dispatch 911 system, which has an average annual budget of $1.1 million. The millage will raise approximately $1 million in the first year.
The shortage in millage is offset by grants and funds that the state collects from a .19 cents surcharge on phone bills; Marquette receives about $200,000 per year from this fund. Voters will also notice a 911 emergency system charge of .27 cents on their landline phone bills.
These funds go to the phone company to pay for maintaining the 911 phone lines and related infrastructure, none of these funds go to the county.
I strongly encourage all voters to go to the polls Tuesday and exercise your voting privilege.
Paul Gravedoni, chairman
Marquette County Central
Dispatch Policy Board