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County e911 garners grant

By Staff | Mar 18, 2008

Notification was given last week to Emmet County Emergency Management Director Terry Reekers that the Emmet County e911 Board is the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Iowa Wireless Surcharge Carryover Fund.

Reekers is also the secretary for this board.

“This marks the first time a $50,000 grant was awarded,” he said. “That’s is the maximum allowed.”

Dispersing the monies is the Iowa 911 Service Board in Des Moines, which comes under the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

The local e911 board had submitted its grant request which included information about the proposed upgrade project carrying a pricetag of $500,000.

The funds which makes these grants possible are generated by the 911 surcharge on cell phones. The 65-cent per month per cell phone fee is funneled to the state. Once bills and other budgetary items are addressed and paid for, the remaining dollars in the account are awarded in the form of grants.

The $50,000 will be applied to the purchase of two work stations and chairs for the dispatchers on duty in the Emmet County Law Enforcement Center, and a new 911 server.

Reekers noted the current 911 server was installed in the early 1990s. He hopes to replace one of the 911 computers as well. If there is a remaining balance, Reekers hopes to purchase a base station or two for the communications center at the LEC.

“After July 1, 200 8, another application will be made for this grant to show need for another $50,000 for additional communications equipment at the LEC,” he commented.

“I am very happy and appreciate that Emmet County received this $50,000 grant. It will definitely help in the whole process of replacing outdated equipment. This is the first step and we hope to keep it going and get all of the assistance we can.”

He mentioned the 911 board is currently focused on preparing and submitting the application for the Firefighters Grant.