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March 18 • 09:53 PM
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Voters say 'no' to E-911 upgrade



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November 04, 2009
LAPEER COUNTY — The $16.1 million proposal to upgrade the county's Central Disptach E-911 analog system to digital failed at the polls by a slim 313 votes, say unofficial results released by the Lapeer County Clerk's office.

Of the county's 63,533 registered voters, just 8,243 cast ballots in the special election held Tuesday, November 3.

Residents in Imlay City narrowly supported the measure wth a 113-97 vote. There are 2,005 registered voters in the city.

The defeat was also narrow in Almont Township, with a 215-222 vote. Registered voters in both precincts of the township number 4,461.

Attica Township voters seemed more strongly opposed to the measure with a 103-162 vote in precinct 1 and 103-129 in precinct 2. Just 498 of the township's 3,476 cast ballots.

In Goodland Township, 201 ballots were cast. One-hundred-three residents cast yes votes; 98 said no. There are 1,282 registered voters in Goodland Twp.

In Imlay Township, the vote was 109 in favor with 116 opposed. There are 2,157 registered voters in the township.

The defeat is disappointing, says E-911 Central Dispatch Director Vic Martin, who has long warned that the county's outdated analog system is in jeopardy of failure.

"My concerns are that if the system breaks down and we can't find parts, we'll simply be out of luck," he says.

Parts for the county's current system are hard to find, Martin says, and it's a gamble whether or not whatever may be needed will be available.

"My concern is for the public," Martin says. "If it (the system) goes down we will not be able to dispatch police, fire, or EMS. We won't be able to page them out. And if the phone system goes down, people can't call 911."

As for the future, Martin says he's hoping for the best.

"This set us back another year at least," he says. "I'm just praying for the system to stay up and running. We're going to keep putting the band-aids on and keep hoping."

Martin says the next move is up to the county's Central Dispatch Authority Board.

"They're going to have to look at strategy and discuss the future and see what they think," he says.

For unofficial results from across the county, visit www.lapeer.county.org/Clerk

Lapeer County's E-911 Central Dispatch Web site is www.lapeercounty911.org.

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