Weber Area 911 and Emergency Services District

The Weber Area 911 and Emergency Services District proposes a property tax hike for 2019 to help the entity better fund operations. The proposal is the focus of a public hearing on Nov. 28, 2018. In this Sept. 26, 2017, photo, dispatchers handle calls at the district facilities in Ogden.

OGDEN — The Weber County entity that handles emergency 911 phone calls is proposing a tax hike, in part to help it build its reserves.

The Weber Area Dispatch 911 and Emergency Services District seeks a hike that would boost property tax revenue for 2019 by $339,841, resulting in anticipated collections of $4.06 million, up from an estimated $3.59 million for 2018. Overall spending per the 2019 budget proposal totals $7.45 million, up more than 9 percent from an estimated $6.82 million for 2018.

“In a nutshell, the increase will be spent to replenish our fund balance, reduce borrowing from the county and maintain our level of service,” Tina Mathieu, executive director of the dispatch center, said in an email. Big projects are funded via the fund balance, and the recent installation of a software system used by the dispatch center, police and fire agencies and the Weber County jail largely depleted it, though it saved in ongoing maintenance costs.

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A public hearing on the proposed increase is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at the dispatch center’s offices at 2186 Lincoln Ave., Ogden.

The average homeowner would see a $3.08 per year increase in the property taxes paid to the center, Mathieu said. She’s talked with many people about the proposed hike, which would be the first since the dispatch center’s creation in 2005, and they seem open to it.

“Once they realize the impact, general response has been that it is a reasonable increase for the cost of our services,” Mathieu said.

All Weber County property owners would pay the increase, if formally adopted.

The dispatch center also gets a large portion of its revenue from the 911 telephone tax, an expected $2.38 million in 2019. It handles public safety calls in Weber and Morgan counties, with Morgan County paying for services via a contract.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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