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State offering grant money for 911 upgrades

Brandon Addeo • Sep 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM

SANDUSKY — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced $4.3 million in grant funding is available to counties seeking to upgrade their 911 systems.

That funding is made available from the federal 911 Grant Program, through the U.S. transportation and commerce departments, according to a release from Ohio’s commerce department.

The money is aimed to help county agencies upgrade to Next Generation 911, which improves the ability to transfer 911 calls between different agencies, the release states. It will also give 911 dispatch centers the ability to receive text messages, photos and videos.

“These funds will help expand Ohio’s 911 capabilities to keep up with today’s technology,” DeWine said. “By transmitting better information and more accurate locations, Next Generation 911 helps our first responders better assist Ohioans in need.”

If approved, the grant would reimburse a given agency 60 percent of the costs associated with an eligible Next Generation 911 project, according to the release. The state commerce department and Ohio’s 911 Program Office will lead the grant application and review process.

Huron County upgrades

Huron County authorities, who are seeking community support for an upcoming 5-year, .725 mill levy for Next Generation 911 upgrades, said they’ll also pursue this grant funding.

“Whatever grant funding is out there we’ll definitely apply for,” said Tacy Bond, 911 coordinator for the county’s emergency management agency.

But Bond said they haven’t yet received applications for the grant. Bond also pointed out that the state commerce department did not clarify what falls under “approved projects” eligible for funding.

“You don’t know if you’re going to be approved for it,” she said.

Bond and Huron County Sheriff Todd Corbin said they need to buy new equipment, including fiber communication lines, along with repairing existing infrastructure as a part of their transition to Next Generation 911.

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