Voters will decide on tax for Stone County’s 911 in the April election

Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 9:49 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2023 at 12:14 PM CST
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STONE COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Stone County voters will decide a tax for emergency services this April.

The county asks voters to approve a sales tax increase that would bring in more than $1 million. Stone County 911 call center leaders said they need more dispatchers. This is the first tax request for 911 in 20 years.

Executive Director Keith Kinnard said they need a revamp.

“Next-gen, which means that they will be located immediately by the law, latitude longitude of that phone, where they’re at,” said Kinnard.

Kinnard said they are in the process of transforming but need a little help.

“Our inflation rate is through the roof right now, obviously, with different costs,” said Kinnard. “So everything’s going up.”

He says the new GPS technology they need is in the millions. It also helps other counties. Kinnard said they would get around $1.5 million per year if the tax passes.

People who live in the area, LaNora Kay and Dan Meisenburg, said it is needed.

“First responders, I think it’s great that we have people that have volunteered their time,” said Kay. “They react so quickly.”

“Well, anything that would benefit those that reach out in our community,” said Meisenburg.

Kinnard said he doesn’t want taxes raised, but this money could save lives.

“We’re able to send them real-time information so that we can also get the closest vehicle or the closest law enforcement agency to respond to that emergency,” said Kinnard.

Everyone I spoke with in Stone County agreed.

“It’s just money. We’re talking about lives and things that matter more than that,” said Meisenburg.

“You can always say you don’t want to pay taxes, but the fact is that our community becomes stronger by having that tax base,” said Kay.

Kinnard said the money would also help with better pay and training for 911 workers. He said the need cannot be stressed enough.

“We will definitely be saving more lives,” said Kinnard. “The times are changing with all the technology. We also have to have the right people in place. "

If voters approve the new tax, spending $100 would add 25 cents to your sales tax.

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