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Mercer County doubles 911 fee on landlines

PRINCETON, W.Va. — Mercer County residents who own landline phones will soon see an increased fee on their monthly bills.

County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to raise the 911 emergency services fee from $1.50 to $3 each month.

Bob Hoge, the county’s 911 communication center’s director, presented a review of the history of the system and why the extra money is needed.

 The fee started in 1992 at $1.25 a month to provide money to get the system up and running, which happened in 1995.

“It’s 24 years later and we’re just now talking about raising our fee,” he said. “It (the increase) will equalize the landline 911 fee with the cellular fee throughout the state of West Virginia.”

Hoge said demands placed on the center have increased over the years, with 100,000 calls received in 2015 and more than 51,000 incidents that required responses.

Income from the 911 fee on landline phones has decreased, he said, from $28,000 with 23,000 phones in the beginning to the current $15,500 with only 13,000 landline phones…

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