The county will still pay 75 percent of the $4 million cost for the various radios local emergency responders will use when the new 911 system is up and running, but one commissioner thinks more discussion is necessary regarding whether the county should make the contribution to for-profit services.
The county commissioners voted 2-1 at their Wednesday meeting to pay three-quarters of the cost for the radios, with Kevin Boozel dissenting.
Boozel said the nonprofit ambulance services are struggling to stay afloat while the two for-profit ambulance services, Butler Ambulance Service and Superior EMS in Grove City, charge for their services and could make payments for their radios.
Boozel said no financial hardship was proved by the for-profit services.
Without the county funds, Boozel said, the nonprofit ambulance services would not be able to get the new radios.
“I think it needs to be vetted a little further,” Boozel said.
Kim Geyer said the project to upgrade to a digital 911 system was mandated by the state and that the county is responsible for the safety of the public at large.
“We want to give them the tools they need to provide service to our residents,” Geyer said.
The total cost of the 911 upgrade is about $10 million.
A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.