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City, county mull limit to E-911 spending

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Jan. 8, 2001
If he gets the expected city council go-ahead on Tuesday, Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith hopes to convince Lauderdale County supervisors to join the city in limiting contributions to the E-911 system.
Smith said he will propose that neither the city nor county pay more than $225,000 per year (or $450,000 combined) over the revenue generated by service rate increases to operate the system.
The mayor said he expected such a move to be approved by the council in the form of a memorandum of understanding with county supervisors. Presumably, supervisors' action would also be required.
For weeks, city and county leaders have disagreed about how the emergency communication system should be funded.
Smith has insisted the county never raised phone service rates as much as required to properly fund the system, leaving the city and the county  holding the bag and pumping in hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the system going.
Members of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors are considering raising the service charge rates from 50 cents per residential line to $1, as well as a hike in commercial line charges. But the board has yet to take official action to raise the rates.
The mayor's proposal would also require the E-911 Commission to explain why an operating deficit exists before any of the additional funds are released from the two bodies.
In other expected action at Tuesday's city council meeting:
A resolution to issue $1.6 million in bonds for water and sewage construction to recently annexed area and new Industrial Park.
Authorize revenue bonds not to exceed $1.5 million for the purpose of improving and extending water and sewer systems to NAS-Meridian.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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