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Financial crisis looms for emergency communications in Iroquois County

It's a cry heard before. Now, it's even louder. And the need is now.

Budget concerns for the Emergency Telecommunications Safety Board (ETSB) are at the critical point. What was thought to be a big concern two-three years down the road, hsas found its way to now. Money to fund the ETSB is about to go dry.

9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble brought the dismal news to the Iroquois County Board Budget Committee. Money to fund the county's emergency dispatch center is fast disappearing. That cost would fall in the laps of the county and city of Watseka.

The looming problem has been building. Technology has resulted in so many people giving up their landline phones in favor cellphones. And the budget has relied on the original $2 tax per landline. On the flip side, cellphones are only taxed 73-cents per phone.

Illinois lawmakers have been asked repeatedly for several years to find a solution. It hasn't happened.

94.1 FM, WGFA