Harford County Council introduces fee hike for 911 emergency services
Mar. 16—A resolution to double the fee for county 911 emergency services from 75 cents to $1.50 a month was introduced Tuesday at the Harford County Council legislative session.
According to the resolution's fiscal note, the hike would result in an additional $2.7 million in annual revenue.
The text of the resolution reads: "It has been determined that the existing  charge is inadequate to provide the funds necessary to meet eligible operation and maintenance costs of the County  System."
In 2022, according to the resolution, 5,393 calls to 911 were not answered within the first 10 seconds. Out of those calls, 2,706 were not answered within 20 seconds.
The county also will need funding for additional staffing in order to improve response and dispatch times that are consistent with the Code of Maryland Regulations, or COMAR, according to the resolution.
The fiscal 2023 budget for the system is $9.3 million and is projected to increase to $10.2 million in fiscal 2024. In January, in his State of the County address, Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly said he wants to recruit more 911 operators; however, he didn't present a number or timeline.
A public hearing on the resolution is scheduled for April 10.