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The 911 surcharge was placed in effect by the state in 2008. The rate has not been increased since then, but now that Genesee County 911 also handles City of Flint emergency calls, they are not making enough money for the increased call volume and the tech upgrades that are necessary.

Officials are hoping to raise the monthly surcharge by 62 cents from $1.24 to $1.86 per month for all phone customers, including those using landlines, wireless and voice over internet protocol service. The increase would bring an extra $2.6 million for emergency services.

MLive is reporting that some the tech upgrades will be:

  • The 11-year old Genesee County 911 radio system will be outdated, and no longer supported by Motorola after Jan. 1, 2018.
  • The fire paging system is outdated, and will no longer be supported by the State of Michigan, Public Safety Communications Commission after June 1, 2017.
  • The consortium looks to upgrade to "Next Generation" 911 equipment, which they expect to eventually become mandatory for call centers and will allow for more accurate location information, text-to-911, and photo and video to 911.

The issue will appear on the May 2nd ballot, and if approved the changes will take effect in November.