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Vote yes on County Measure 1

One of the first things people do when they need the help of firefighters, law enforcement or emergency medical personnel is dial 911.

Now, the 911 system and the Stutsman County Communications Center need the public's help to vote yes on County Measure No. 1.

The measure, if approved, would increase the county tax on phone lines and cellphones from $1 per month to $1.50 per month. It's a small increase to ensure necessary and vital service for all.

How vital is it? In 2017, according to the Stutsman County Communications Center, there were 6,396 calls to 911. That averages out to 18 calls every day.

Stutsman County voters approved a tax of 50 cents per line for 911 service in 1988. The voters stepped up and raised it to $1 per month in 1998. The state placed a 50-cent monthly tax last year on telephones for radio upgrades, bringing the current tax on phones to $1.50 per month. Approving County Measure No. 1 would increase the combined county and state tax to $2 per month.

Everyone should recognize that costs have increased in the past 20 years. That includes the costs for technology that serves as the lifeline to connect someone needing help to first responders who can provide assistance.

The taxes paid for 911 and dispatch services are a small price to pay for the peace of mind that a first responder can be sent to help in a time of need.

Vote yes on County Measure 1.