Tech. zaps Butler Co. E-911 funding

E-911 service funding is drying up as folks ditch land lines in favor of cell phones.
E-911 service funding is drying up as folks ditch land lines in favor of cell phones.

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Technology is usually considered a good thing, but it's starting to take a toll on area emergency services.

All appears quiet at the Butler County E-911, but a few miles away Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon, who is also the E-911 chairman, is sounding the alarm.

"Our revenue is going down," said McClendon.

Chairman McClendon says more and more people are giving up their home phones in favor of cell phones; a saving for the homeowner but a monumental loss for the 911 system.

"What's happening is more people are giving up their land-lines and going to cell phones. E-911 gets $2.00 per home phone and 70 cents per cell phone. We're losing about $1,000.00 a month," said McClendon.

McClendon says it's not just a Butler County problem but nationwide as well. The chairman outlined his concerns to the Butler County Commission. The county provides $40,000 a year to operate E-911 while the city forks over $100,000 a year.

"We'll just have to tighten our belts. We did not ask the county commission for more money but wanted to let them know we're losing money and give them a year to think about it," said McClendon.

It's the sign of the times. Many are apparently saving money switching phone service while others are losing it. E-911 is now in need of a financial rescue.

Despite losing money at a rapid pace, there are no current plans for the system to layoff any of its dozen employees.

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