On November 3, St. Louis County residents will be voting on Proposition E-9-1-1. If it passes, it will provide funding to improve emergency communications countywide through a one-tenth of one cent sales tax. The funds will be used to pay off a $100 million dollar bond issue for system capital costs, plus provide funds for ongoing operations maintenance, and reserves. How much is one-tenth of one cent sales tax going to cost tax payers? It amounts to a dime on every $100.00 purchase.
This improved emergency system will enable St. Louis County’s 65 police departments and 43 fire agencies to communicate on the same radio frequency and thus, meet 2012 Federal Communication Commission requirements. More importantly, these agencies will be able to better coordinate lifesaving services to our citizens. Further, the new technology will enable individuals placing emergency calls on their cell phones to be located quickly and reliably; which is not available with the County’s present 9-1-1 emergency system. Lastly, St. Louis County’s decades old emergency siren system is not supported with replacement parts, serves only parts of the county, and cannot deliver localized voice warning and instructions. Passage of Proposition of E-9-1-1 will provide funds to upgrade this system.
Vote Yes on Proposition E-9-1-1. It is important for the safety of St. Louis County residents.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Lowe "Sandy" MacLean is vice chancellor emeritus, University of Missouri, St. Louis, and is active in local political and community organizations, including the Grand Order of Pachyderms (GOP), a service organization for the Republican Party.