State Announces Local 9-1-1 Awards

James L. Seward

February 18, 2005

Local counties will be receiving state funds to upgrade their wireless 911 answering systems, Senator James L. Seward said today. Seward, chairman of the Senate Task Force on Emergency Volunteer Services, said the money will be used to help counties improve their public service answering points (PSAPS) to enhanced wireless 911.

"Local county dispatchers are seeing their volume of calls rise with the prevalence of cell phones and wireless 911 emergency calls, and the cost to county taxpayers is tremendous" Seward said. "This money is intended to assist counties with the cost of maintaining and upgrading their local 911 equipment to better handle wireless calls."

Counties are required to file a wireless 911 plan with the Department of State and the awards account for 90 percent of eligible costs to enact the counties' plans. Computer equipment, software, connection equipment, and on-site equipment may be considered eligible.

Area counties designated for funding include:
Chenango $ 293,850
Cortland 338,899
Greene 430,378
Herkimer 225,000
Otsego 640,434
Tompkins 90,359
Statewide, $33.5 million was awarded in this round of funding. The money comes from monthly surcharges on cellular telephone bills.