BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners appear poised to send a new 911 permanent funding levy to the May ballot. The 911 Service District is asking for a maximum rate of 42.5-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Director Steve Reinke says part of the money would be combined with state funds to build and maintain a new radio system. "It has to be replaced, no matter what; it’s on the verge of failure. Our two technicians are often going to sites to replace equipment to try and keep everything patched together. It’s a 15-year-old Motorola SmartNet system." He tells KBND News, "It’s kind of like being on Windows 95 at this point. Nobody supports Windows 95 and it’s the same thing for old software and old hardware. So, the public safety leaders of the community said ‘we need to centralize this and be more efficient,’ and the 911 Service District is the logical place to do it."
Read more on the proposal HERE.
He says the request is only a little over 6-cents more than the current funding levy, and would also allow the agency to hire more 9-1-1 call-takers. He says the levy would stay at its current 36-cent rate for the first two years.
County Commissioners held a public hearing Wednesday; no one came forward to oppose the idea. Reinke says, "The order includes a second public hearing in mid-February. After that public hearing, if they [County Commissioners] don’t change their minds, which I think is unlikely, then it will be certified for the ballot and will be on the May election." That final public hearing is scheduled for February 17.