Here’s your chance to weigh in on proposed Clark County 9-1-1 tax

Clark County commissioners will move forward with public meetings to discuss a proposed property tax assessment that would pay for a new countywide 9-1-1 dispatch center.

The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Springview Government Center, 3130 E. Main St., and at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at the fifth floor public chamber of the Clark County Offices, 50 E. Columbia St.

RELATED: Clark County commissioners to decide on tax increase public meetings

Last week county commissioners pulled a resolution that would have begun the public process to increase taxes for property owners in Clark County by about $60 a year to pay for a state-of-the-art combined 9-1-1 dispatch center in 2019.

The proposed flat fee, parcel assessment would likely save Springfield and the county about $1.5 million each in general fund tax dollars annually. The townships and the city of New Carlisle would also save money on dispatching annually, Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said.

No final decisions about the tax assessment have been made, he said, and the county is still studying the possible tax assessment.

“We’re agreeing to listen to what the public has to say about it,” Lohnes said.

FIRST REPORT: Property tax bills may go up to pay for new Clark County 9-1-1 center

Emergency operations will improve if all jurisdictions are on the same system, Lohnes has said, allowing emergency calls to go to one location. Currently 9-1-1 calls go to different dispatch centers based on where callers are located and what type of phone they’re using, which can lead to delays in response times as calls are transferred between the city and county.

After the public meetings on the proposed assessment, Lohnes said the county has 30 days to make a decision on whether to implement it.

In the past six months, the city and several townships have increased taxes, he said. The city also recently elected two new city commissioners who might have different ideas about how to fund the dispatch center, he said.

“We will see what kind of feedback we get from folks at this meeting,” Lohnes said.

Everyone agrees a countywide 9-1-1 dispatch is needed, Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said, but it’s a matter of how to pay for it.

County commissioners delayed the decision on moving forward with the public meetings because it didn’t want to influence other local tax issues, Lohnes said. They went ahead with setting this week.

RELATED: Clark County employees will see health care cost increase in 2018

The new dispatch center could cost up to $4 million per year, including renovations, security and new equipment, he said.

The county might have to contribute up to $140,000 to pay for operations and another $250,000 in general fund money in 2019 to pay debt for new equipment, depending on the amount of the assessment, officials said.

The amount of the assessment is still to be determined, but might be in the range of about $60 annually or about $5 per month. Commissioners also discussed up to $70 per parcel.

Any tract of land that’s been improved, such as a building, driveway or structure, will be assessed the same fee, leaders said. Clark County currently has about 59,500 improved parcels.

RELAT ED: Ne w Carlisle city council race could go to a recount

County commissioners can approve the assessment later without putting the tax increase on the ballot per Ohio law, they have said.

The county will also move its dispatchers out of the Clark County Jail building to the Springview Government Center next year to provide more space for upgraded equipment, Lohnes has said. It will allow those upgrades to be purchased for one system, he said.

Combined, the two dispatch centers currently cost about $3 million to operate annually with about 35 full-time employees that field about 150,000 calls annually.


July 2013: Unified dispatch c enter plan moves forward

September 2013: Casino money might help pay for combined dispatch

March 2014: County dispatch to save German Twp. $30K

May 2014: Unified dispatch center technology to cost millions

September 2015: Combined 9-1-1 system on hold for Springfield, Clark County

June 2016: Report urges Springfield, county to look at merged government options

April 2016: Clark County Commissioner: Drowning highlights dispatch problems

September 2016: New Clark County 11 system will soon allow emergency texts

August 2016: State Auditor: Clark County could be test case for shared services

January of 2017: Clark County, Springfield still mulling combined dispatch center

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Portman: Firing Mueller would be ‘big mistake’
Portman: Firing Mueller would be ‘big mistake’

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said today that it “would be a big mistake” for President Donald Trump to fire Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian officials trying to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign had any ties to those officials. “I’ve said all along it would be a mistake to...
States take lead in passing gun laws
States take lead in passing gun laws

Despite the pleas from students across the country for Washington to do something about gun violence, the states seem to be ones listening. In the aftermath of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took the lives of 17 students, at least two states have moved to pass more stringent gun regulations. A handful of Republican governors — including...
Russia investigation: Special counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization
Russia investigation: Special counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization

  Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump and his associates, according to multiple reports. The subpoena is the first directly connected to one of Trump’s businesses...
Pa. election outcome has some thinking Ohio districts are in play
Pa. election outcome has some thinking Ohio districts are in play

Democrat Conor Lamb’s stunning victory Tuesday in a suburban Pittsburgh congressional district easily won in 2016 by President Donald Trump has convinced Democrats and some independent analysts the party has a chance to compete for at least two GOP seats in Ohio. Although Lamb apparently prevailed over Republican Rick Saccone by less than a thousand...
READ IT NOW: Ex-Springfield firefighter shared post with racial slur
READ IT NOW: Ex-Springfield firefighter shared post with racial slur

A Facebook post shared by a Springfield firefighter that the city says led to his firing contained a racial slur, and mocked school dropouts and McDonald’s employees. Bradley Baugh was fired on March 9 after only a few weeks with the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, according to city records obtained by the Springfield News-Sun through a public...
More Stories