Monmouth County News

Monmouth Officials Ask State Why County is Being Shortchanged in 911 Emergency Service Funds

eed32af3928b20951e48_monmouthcounty911fee.jpg
At a June 18 press conference, Monmouth Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian Burry voices concerns over the county not getting its fair share of 911 emergency system funds from the state. Credits: Monmouth County
eed32af3928b20951e48_monmouthcounty911fee.jpg

FREEHOLD, NJ — Monmouth County officials estimate that county residents have paid some $5 million in state-imposed 911 emergency service fees on their phone bills for the past 13 years. However, only $1.14 million has made its way back to upgrading the county’s emergency response system — and it’s been eight years since any funds have been received at all.

Now they are asking state officials why Monmouth County is not getting its "fair share" of funds collected through the 911 System and Emergency Response Trust Fund for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center.

Their request comes at a time when state lawmakers are considering raising the monthly surcharge by 10 percent — from 90 cents to 99 cents — for each landline and cell phone line.

Sign Up for E-News

“We oppose any legislation that would call for the increase of 911 fees as the county has yet to rightfully receive any funding collected through the trust fund since 2010,” Monmouth Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian Burry said at a June 18 press conference. “Our residents have paid their fair share into the fund and should not be asked to contribute even more without seeing those monies come back to the county.”

According to a report issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), New Jersey is one of two states to have used a portion of their funds to support non-911 related public safety programs. In 2016, $122 million was generated for the trust fund, in which an estimated $108 million was used for other purposes.

“This additional tax will not result in a solution to fixing the problem and it’s unfair for taxpayers to bear the burden of paying it when that money will be used for other purposes,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “Such an increase is unjust, especially with no explanation from the state as to where the funding went or if it will be replenished.”

The current fees, which are estimated to generate $134 million statewide in 2018, are allocated to a trust fund to upgrade state, county and local 911 systems. The fees are also to be used to upgrade the infrastructure of 911 centers, also known as public safety answering points (PSAPs), to be able to receive text messages, photos and videos during emergency situations.

Under the measure being considered in the state Legislature, additional funds raised by a 10 percent increase in the the monthly 911 surcharge would be used to equip PSAPs with Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems,  which would allow public safety telecommunication personnel to receive digital information in the form of emergency text messages, photos and videos. While the technology is available in Monmouth County, monies from the fund would assist with needed upgrades, plans, coordination and training.

“The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office Communications Division has done a remarkable job keeping current with the latest technology in order to keep our residents and visitors safe. However, there is always room for improvement and upgrades to their infrastructure should be funded by the fees collected through the trust fund,” Monmouth Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone said.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center is staffed with 114 public safety telecommunication employees who answer 911 calls for 50 agencies, which includes 47 municipalities, Brookdale Community College, Monmouth University and Naval Weapons Station Earle. It also provides dispatch services for 22 police departments, 69 fire companies and 37 first aid squads. The communications division processes more than 750,000 calls annually.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_d07fd96ef4679390243c_bacancestors2

Sat, July 21, 1:00 PM

Belmar Arts Center, Belmar

Belmar Arts Center: Ancestors

Carousel_image_c934ec0ac0155d300f8b_moviesonbeach

Sat, July 21, 8:00 PM

Eighth Avenue Beach, Belmar

Belmar Movies on the Beach: "Cars 3"

Carousel_image_828296de09fc8981816f_monmouthcountyfair2018

Wed, July 25, 11:00 AM

East Freehold Showgrounds, Freehold

Monmouth County Fair

Carousel_image_e7f98173706f0b322af5_bhsdoughboynest

Fri, July 27, 9:00 AM

Doughboy Park, Belmar

Doughboy's Coming Home Party

Carousel_image_a2c4ddef7ed6c72e648e_17crowd1

Thu, August 2, 4:00 PM

Milt Campbell Fields, Plainfield

Music in the Park @ Milt Campbell Field - Free ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

New Jerseyans Need Tax Relief — Not More Spending and Higher Taxes

July 19, 2018

While New Jersey narrowly avoided a second straight government shutdown, the budget agreement that was achieved at the last minute will have a serious impact on area taxpayers that will be felt for years to come.

As a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, I participated in a number of meetings and listened to hours of testimony on Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget that sought to ...

Turtle Back Zoo Extends Hours, Holds 'Zoo-vie' Nights for Summer

July 14, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will have Family Nights with extended evening hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, with the last admission to the zoo at 8 p.m.

In addition, on Wednesday evenings during July and August, Zoo-vies, featuring animal-related movies, will be shown on the top floor of the Turtle Back Zoo ...

Belmar and Lake Como

July 6, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following 76 arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from May 1, 2018 to May 30, 2018.

BELMAR

Mark Lawrence, 54, was charged with shoplifting after his arrest in Belmar Plaza on May 1 by Police Officer Brian Poppert.

Christopher Palermo, 49, of Springfield was charged with disorderly conduct and interference with business after his arrest in Belmar ...

JCP&L Announces Program to Enhance Reliability for Electric Customers

July 17, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — Jersey Central Power & Light has filed a four-year infrastructure plan with the N.J. Board of Public Utilities aimed at enhancing the reliability and resiliency of its distribution system against severe weather, and reducing the frequency and duration of power outages.

JCP&L Reliability Plus includes about $400 million in targeted investments above ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...