Dunwoody city officials still have not made a decision on whether to contract with ChatComm for its emergency police calls.
The hang up this time revolved around money. Specifically, a new wrinkle has called into question how much the city can expect to receive if it begins collecting its own 911 fees.
Past projections pegged the amount at $900,000 to $1.2 million annually. However, Dunwoody City Councilman Danny Ross, a proponent of staying with DeKalb County for emergency calls, showed the council that the 911 revenue could be closer to $800,000 per year based on a collection fee that was not accounted for in city estimates.
“I want justify spending (the money),” Ross said. “I think personally we’re moving in the wrong direction with ChatComm.”
City officials seemed poised several weeks ago to contract with ChatComm, a joint venture between Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. However, one of the biggest unknowns about Dunwoody joining ChatComm is how much revenue it will collect to cover the $1,075,000 per year in costs for the service.
Right now, DeKalb County, which has served Dunwoody since it was incorporated in 2008, collects the fees and provides 911 emergency response service. If Dunwoody broke away, it would have the right to collect up to $1.50 on cell phones and land lines in the city.
The city calculated the number of phones to come up with an estimate. What it hasn’t considered up to this point, according to Ross, is that cell phone companies can charge fees to collect for the city. The fees can be as high as 45 cents on each cell phone.