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Scott County's E-911 fund nearly out of reserve funds

Friday, April 27, 2007

Money will have to be transferred out of general revenue

BENTON -- After only the year's first quarter, the county E-911 fund has used up remaining reserves and will now need fund transfers.

County officials noted during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday that there is currently only $22,000 left in the E-911 fund.

"This month will wipe that out," County Clerk Rita Milam said.

"We're going to have to start transferring out of general revenue," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said.

The first transfer will probably be needed around May 1, according to Milam.

The E-911 fund had spent 21 percent of its budget as of April 6, according to the latest printed report.

"Last year we had carryover money which is gone," Burger said.

Milam explained the E-911 fund started 2006 with $198,000 but ended the year with $58,000.

"So all that reserve, basically, is gone so now it's running strictly on its revenues and transfers," Milam said.

Burger noted equipment upgrades periodically are mandated by the state while there is no state funding to pay for the upgrades.

The primary source of revenue for the E-911 fund, the 15-percent surcharge on land line phones, has been dropping as people drop land line service to use cellular phones exclusively.

Last year, this tax brought in roughly $178,800 as compared with 2005 when it brought in about $205,500.

The E-911 fund also receives about $17,000 each year from the South Scott Ambulance district and received about $6,000 in interest in 2006.

Actual expenditures for E-911 services in 2006 were $405,300.

A transfer of $64,000 from the county's general revenue fund was needed last year, according to Milam.

She estimated an additional $88,000 will have to be transferred this year.

"We've got to make some cutbacks," Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn suggested.