Metro-East 911 call center overspent last year's budget

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KMOV.com

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 28 at 11:53 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Questions are being raised about the financial condition of a Metro-East 9-1-1 call center after an audit found that the center overspent its budget.

According to an audit, the St. Clair County Emergency Telephone System overspent its budget by $305,000 in 2010.  Residents in the county are asking how spending could overflow to that extreme and if the budget issue will jeopardize the call center's ability to handle emergency calls.

Approximately 210,000 calls a year are answered at the emergency communications center.  The center dispatches police, fire and ambulances for 56 agencies in the County's smaller municipalities and unincorporated areas. 

Back in 2002, the St. Clair County Emergency Telephone System board got a $6 million grant from the federal government to upgrade emergency radios so all first responders could communicated with one another.  The $305,000 overspent was the final payment on the 25% match for the county to get the money.

Bustin their budget does not instill a lot of confidence in the board overseeing the call center, but it does not mean they are about to run out of money.  The ETSB going into the last fiscal year had a $3.5 million fund balance.

So, after overspending in 2010, the agency has $3.2 million in the bank.  The director realizes that it does not look good, but he wants residents to know that a call to 9-1-1 in St. Clair County can be trusted to get through.
 

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