Waukegan emergency phone board to review consolidation
Waukegan Emergency Telephone System board members will keep pace with countywide developments as well as hear public comment when they meet at 11 a.m. Thursday at 101 N. West St. in Waukegan.
The board’s agenda includes approving minutes from its previous meeting Feb. 11. The treasurer will report on fees received from landline and cellular phone lines and correspondence will be reviewed. The board will then discuss recent developments pertaining to the merging of area-wide emergency response systems.
Lake County’s various emergency response systems began a key consolidation in September 2015 to create a streamlined organization of fire, police and other public safety personnel throughout the county. Results included adding a uniform surcharge on all phone lines to subsidize local 911 services.
The action was sparked by amendments to the Emergency Telephone Safety Act and the Wireless Emergency Telephone Safety Act, which became effective June 29, 2015, creating a single, statewide 911 system administered by the state police department.
The law requires small Emergency Telephone System boards in municipalities with a population less than 25,000 to consolidate with neighboring boards.
While Waukegan is technically exempt from that requirement — along with Gurnee and Vernon Hills — it is required to report its audited financial statements to the Illinois Commerce Commission because it imposes wireless surcharges.