KEYSER - Mineral County residents who still use a land line telephone will be paying an additional $2 soon, as the Mineral County Commissioners this week voted to increase the 911 fee.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County residents who still use a land line telephone will be paying an additional $2 soon, as the Mineral County Commissioners this week voted to increase the 911 fee.

As a result, according to Office of Emergency Management director Luke McKenzie, the county will receive a better trained 911 staff and a savings to the county's general fund.


The 911 fee is included in the customers’ telephone bill and comes back to the county for use by the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management 911 Center.

McKenzie says the current fee being charged is not enough to cover operations, and the OEM has had to receive supplements from the general fund in order to make budget.

The increase, he said, will finally help get them "out of the red."

“We cannot sustain under our current fees,” he said. “If we did a $1 increase, it would bring us into the black a little, but we would still be operating at the bare minimum.
“A $2 increase,” he added, “would give us a little surplus.”
Commission president Richard Lechliter notes that Mineral County is currently not charging the maximum allowed by the state for 911 fees.
“Even by raising it $2, we will not be at the maximum,” he said.
McKenzie said the increase would be “very important for 911’s budget,” and would enable them to do more training.
Commissioner Jerry Whisner made a motion to increase the fee by $2 during Tuesday's regular meeting, and Roger Leatherman seconded it. The motion passed 3-0.
“We’re not doing the maximum allowed, but we’re doing what will make 911 solvent,” Lechliter told the News Tribune.