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LEC board discusses revenue shortfalls

By Staff | Feb 1, 2019

Revenue shortfalls for county 911 service and new board officers were topics for discussion when Pierce County’s Law Enforcement Committee and City of Rugby staff held their semi-annual joint meeting Monday night at the Pierce County Courthouse.

Attending were Rugby Mayor Sue Steinke, Rugby Police Chief John Rose, Rugby City Auditor Jennifer Stewart, City Council Ward 2 Representative Gary Kraft, Pierce County Sheriff Josh Siegler, Pierce County Commissioners Mike Brossart and Ashley Berg, and Pierce County Auditor Karin Fursather.

After the members approved the meeting’s agenda and minutes from their meeting last July, Rose and Siegler presented updates on future upgrades to law enforcement, fire and ambulance radio systems. Rose noted costs for towers and other infrastructure items would come from a budget to fund statewide infrastructure improvements at a total cost of approximately $106 million.

“The project would be funded biennially,” Rose said, adding the project would include two phases, with the first phase focusing on communication towers.

Siegler said Motorola would contract with the state to upgrade radio systems used by first responders.

Fursather presented data showing current county revenues funding local 911 services are covering about 96 percent of expenses. Fursather said fees for local phone service pay for the system. “It’s $1.00 for wireless, and $1.00 for land lines, so you’re paying $2.00 (in current fees)” she noted. Fursather suggested adding a measure to 2020’s election ballot to increase service fees by 50 cents.

In other business, the group voted to elect Brossart Law Enforcement Board chair for the new term. Kraft will serve as board vice-chair, and Stewart will fill the role of board secretary.

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