Funding issues continue to plague 911 call centers - KMOV.com

Funding issues continue to plague 911 call centers

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – It's a problem many cities and counties across Missouri face; lack of funding for 911 services. 

"The most important thing we do is public safety and the key to public safety is that 911 system," says St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. 

You will not get a bill for calling 911, but the call is not free. Ehlmann says as more people rid their landlines in exchange for cell phones, funding for 911 becomes less and less. That is because a tax on landlines is the biggest source of funding to equip and run 911 call centers. 

"It is the sort of thing that we can not let disappear. It is very important," he says. 

Elhmann says it is a balancing act to make up for the shortfall because other money is pulled from other services. 

"Even though it is costing us money to maintain that system, we are trying to maintain the other services and that is a constant challenge," says Elhmann. 

The solution he says is in the hands of lawmakers. 

"The county and the city are chipping in to keep this whole 911 system afloat and we are looking to Jefferson City for a solution to the revenue shortfall we are experiencing," he says.

St. Charles County is in the same position as many others across Missouri, as the state continues to look for new forms of revenue services.

"I think money can be found if they look for it," says resident Neil Senter. 

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