Fewer landline phones mean fewer E-911 dollars

Enhanced 911 (E-911) is funded through surcharges from landline phones.

E-911 funding goes towards maintenance of emergency medical vehicles and other equipment.

However with landlines quickly becoming a thing of the past, funding is suffering in smaller counties. Jefferson Countyâ??s surcharge is 1 dollar per landline.

â??We have lost a significant amount of money in our E-911 fund compared to last year,â?? says Jefferson County Supervisor Lee Dimmitt.

Dimmitt will have exact numbers of how much the funding has suffered next week.

There is a 50 cent surcharge on cell phones, but the state of Iowa takes the majority of that.

â??They (Iowa) do whatever they do with it (money) so it doesnâ??t come anywhere close to offsetting the loss and revenue weâ??ve experienced because of the decline in the use of landlines,â?? says Dimmitt.

Demmitt hopes the state will not take over E-911 in the future. This would regionalize counties into groupings possibly taking away the effectiveness of E-911 services.

For Wapello County, this has not been an issue yet. Residents in this county pay 85 cents per landline.

â??We really havenâ??t seen any significant deductions in E-911 funds,â?? says Wapello County Sheriff Don Kirkendall.

Because Wapello County is a bigger county, it is not feeling the effects of less landlines being used.

â??We are fortunate to be able to provide pagers and other equipment to smaller counties that cannot afford those things,â?? says Sheriff Kirkendall.

Sheriff Kirkendall hopes Wapello County wonâ??t have to ever feel these effects.