Tybee Island City Council discussing future of 911 dispatch

Tybee Island city council discussing future of 911 dispatch

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - The mayor of Tybee Island says an error in his phone bill could be part of the reason the city's 911 center is failing.

The city is exploring the option of closing their 911 center and merging with Chatham County. The mayor tells us the current center operates at a $300,000 deficit.

The mayor tells me it's not a done deal to move the 911 center. He just wants to save taxpayers money where they can.

The city's police department currently houses the center. The drop off in funding is a result of people dropping their land lines for cell phones.

Those land line fees should fund the dispatch center. The cell phone bills should too, though.

The problem?

The mayor says he and the city manager looked at their phone bills and realized their $1.50 fee was going to Chatham County and not Tybee. He doesn't know if this is happening to a lot of residents, too.

He also doesn't know if recouping those fees will help them make up the $300,000 gap. That's what these meetings are for.

"We're looking at alternatives. I've visited the one Chatham County has. We have a really good 911 Center in Tybee with a great staff. They've been there for a while. So we're looking at all options, but right now my focus is on trying to recapture that revenue that was going where it shouldn't go," said Mayor Jason Buelterman.

There is no timetable for when a decision could be made. It may be worth checking your phone bill to see where your fees are going.

We'll stay on top of any decision.

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