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Northern Wisconsin Officials To Lobby For More Funding For 911 Services

Officials Say They're Paying For Higher Fees As More Callers Use Cell Phones

Hospital emergency room signs
Mike Bitzenhofer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Northern Wisconsin officials will be approaching state lawmakers soon to push for a change in 911 funding.

“Superior Days” is a grass-roots lobbying effort where area residents travel to Madison to ask legislators to address issues of importance to residents of northern Wisconsin. David Minor, co-chair of the committee that identifies issues to address with lawmakers, said he believes 911 funding needs updating.

“There’s either little or no charge on people’s phone bill to help fund the 911 system. That’s still pretty much based on landlines,” he said.

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Douglas County Communications Center supervisor Danielle Miller said an average of 2,600 wireless calls came in last year out of 3,600.

“To accept the incoming cell phone calls, there’s been an increase in our fee for that,” she said.

Miller said that means they absorb more costs into their roughly $1 million budget.

A half-percent sales tax for county highways and expansion of U.S. Highway 2 are other issues on the table for Superior Days, organizers said.