Mar. 27—CUTLINE — Courtesy photo
Henderson County 911 Communications District Executive Director Mark Brown presented the budget to Henderson County Commissioners Court and the City of Athens this week.
"When we come up with budgets each year, that budget has to be sent to every mayor and city council in the county, as well as county commissioners," Brown said.
He said revenues projected in the new budget are down from last year, continuing a trend of decreases. The revenue total dropped from $730,000 to $725,000.
"We're funded by 911 bills on phone bills, landline VoIP and cell phone calls," Brown said. "As we all know, people don't get man land lines anymore. That's the lion's share or our revenue and those revenues have been declining for the past 10 years at a steady pace."
Brown said the purpose of the 911 system is to deliver emergency telephone calls, along with the caller's number and location to the public safety answering points in Henderson County who
process the calls then dispatch first responders.
The fees are used to pay for the initial hardware, software, routing and location technology used in delivering the 911 calls and associated data.
"So far this year, we've funded $55,000 worth of furniture at the Henderson County Sheriff's Office for new dispatch consoles and we have a grant set up next month to grant the Athens Police Department about $45,000 for dispatch console furniture," Brown said.
The three Public Safety Answering Points in Henderson County are the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Gun Barrel City Police Department and Athens Police Department.
"I've been doing 911 for longer than I care to remember and one of my personal goals is to make answering those calls as easy as possible," Brown said.
County Judge Wade McKinney said Henderson County 911 was founded to field facilitate emergency calls. Many counties don't have their own district.
"There was a move made in the early '90s to create the 911 board to keep it solely within Henderson County so county dollars didn't go to the state and sometimes get diverted," McKinney said.
He said the new equipment at the jail looks great and the financial help from 911 is much appreciated.
The new budget takes effect May 1.