WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – We are one month away from the December 5th elections. In Webster Parish, voters will say yes or no on 911 communications receiving upgrades to their equipment and increasing salaries for dispatchers.
In Webster Parish, the 911 center is a self funded agency only receiving 9-1-1 surcharge funding from your phone. Surcharges for a cell phone and residential line is $1.25. The fee for businesses is $3.00.” Our income is fixed and it is decreasing. We aren’t able to give increases. I have people that are new receiving the same pay as my experienced ones,” said Executive Director Angie Chapman.
In the future, 911 call centers will be able to receive emergencies through call, text, and video. On the current system, Webster Parish 911 will not be able to call you back if the call becomes disconnected. “Depending on the technology of your phone and our system, sometimes we won’t be able to locate you,” said Chapman.
A yes vote on the proposition will require a two mills tax increase on homeowners. “After the homestead exemption on a $400,000 property, you would only pay $40,” said Chapman.
A no vote would require Chapman to tighten her budget more. As a result, training could be cut for dispatchers.