Controversy continues in Covington and Kenton Co. 911 centers - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Controversy continues in NKY's 911 centers

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KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -

Last month, the 911 dispatch center in Covington closed because the city was not able to afford the maintenance and operation of the center. It was moved to the county's center in Independence, based in the Kenton County Police building.

The move created controversy due to the way it is funded. The first funding plan was to add $35 to every vehicle registered in Kenton County. It was determined the plan wouldn't be fair for those with more than one vehicle. The next plan was to add $6 a month to residents' Duke Energy bill, but Duke Energy opposed that idea. The final plan was to put an additional $85 tax for everyone who owns a parcel of property in the county.

There are still numerous cities being serviced by the 911 center in Erlanger, including Bromley, Ludlow, Park Hills, Ft. Wright, Fort Mitchell, Lakeside Park, Crescent Springs, Villa Hills, Crestview Hills, Edgewood, Elsmere and Erlanger.

"There are many attorneys who do not believe what the county's done does not pass legal mustard," said the Mayor of Erlanger, Thomas Rouse. "And somebody needs to file a lawsuit."

Tuesday night, Erlanger officials met to talk about whether they should be the ones to file the suit. "All the cities on the west side of the county have been paying the county to dispatch Taylor Mill and Independence and the unincorporated county through their general fund payments so all they've done is increase taxes by $85 and have made it stick out like a sore thumb," Rouse said.

All county residents who have land line telephones have been paying $4.25 per month, some for the old Covington center, some for the Kenton County center and some for the Erlanger center. "We know for a fact, over a five year period, if we combine centers and have one center instead of the two we have today, we know that we can save the residents of Kenton County $4.5 million," said Steve Arlinghaus, Kenton County's Judge Executive and the man ultimately responsible for making the decision on the issue.

"Erlanger's interested in the residents of their city and every community is as well. But from my perspective I've got 160,000 residents who all reside in Kenton County and I have to look at the best interest for all of them," he said.

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