The Christian County dispatch center says they have seen a major decrease in revenue the past five years. With locals in Christian County using more cellphones, the area is losing about 100 home phone users each month. That means about $200 less for the dispatch center each month.
A new plan would raise taxes on cell phones to a dollar a month, which would help restore funding to emergency call centers. Right now, users pay 73 cents a month. That charge is set to expire this summer.
Christian County says without the hike, the future looks bleak. They say they have already cut out all extras and are operating with a the minimum number of staff members. Further cuts could leave rural dispatch centers to turn operations over to the Illinois State Police. But critics say that would mean less reliable service, since consolidated dispatchers may not be familiar with areas they could take calls from.