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Clinton County first responders asking voters to approve millage to fund new communication system

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 05:49:21-05

CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. — Clinton County first responders are looking to upgrade their current communication system.

Right now they can't communicate with neighboring county units. The system is almost 20-years-old and is expiring next year.

Christine Collom, Clinton County 911 Director said, "This system is very much needed. It will not only improve responder safety but our ability to respond to their emergencies. If our responders are outside tower range we can't talk to them and they can't talk to each other. That puts our officers at a very dangerous situation."

The millage would cost the average homeowner in Clinton County an extra $72 a year.

But if it passes, the county will lower the 9-1-1 surcharge on phone bills from $2.75 a month to $1.50.

The county estimates the average increase will be $27 a year per home.

The sheriff says it's worth the price.

Sheriff Larry Jerue, Clinton County said, "God forbid there is a school tragedy where there are multiple agencies from outside the county there to respond as well. We would be able to communicate effectively and immediately with one another and help resolve the situation, whatever it might be."

Right now Clinton is one of nine counties that doesn't use Michigan's Public Safety Communication System.

Passing the millage would change that.

Sheriff Jerue said, "You have to have it for survival but it's not something you can show off. It's not pretty. But it's essential."

If the millage passes, it would be implemented in 2021.

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