Lee County funding glitch

Some residents in Lee County could be paying twice for its consolidated 911 emergency call and dispatch center.

That center is supposed to open this summer inside the Lee County Jail.

The original funding plan was to have the county and all incorporated cities split the cost of salaries and operations.

Each city would tax its residents and the county would tax rural residents through the rural basic levy.

The county found out it could not use the rural basic levy to pay for the project, it had to use the general supplemental levy.

That is a county-wide tax, so residents of incorporated cities would have to pay the tax both through the city and through the county.

Rural residents would only have to pay the county tax.

We spoke with a member of the Lee County board of supervisors about the issue.

He says it is too late to change anything for this fiscal year.

So city residents will have to pay twice, the extra tax will only amount to about a dollar per household.

But the project board is looking on how to change the problem in the future.

"Going forward, we will probably be discussing taking the assessment off of the city and putting it all under the general supplemental and it would be spread county wide that way," said Larry Kruse.

When asked if this issue would affect the future of the consolidated E 911 call and dispatch center, K ruse said, "No, I do not think it will. I think we're going to go forward. I think it is the right thing to do for the county. It will improve our safety and long term it will give us a better operation at the lowest possible cost."

The funding glitch was the topic of a special meeting of the project board Wednesday, Feb. 24.

After talking about the problem and how it came about, the board decided to appoint a smaller board to research the issue and find the best possible solution.

The findings of that research will be given at the first project board meeting in August.