Public opposition led to a funding proposal for the county 911 center to be scrapped, after impacts to libraries, townships and towns drew criticism. South Bend Tribune staff photo by Michael Caterina
Public opposition led to a funding proposal for the county 911 center to be scrapped, after impacts to libraries, townships and towns drew criticism. South Bend Tribune staff photo by Michael Caterina
SOUTH BEND — A proposal to change the way the St. Joseph County 911 center is paid for has been dropped, after it drew fierce opposition from supporters of libraries, townships and towns that would lose out on income tax money if it had been passed.

The proposal to carve out a section of the already existing income tax draw to create a permanent funding source for the county 911 center, and alleviate the burden on the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka and the county — which currently fund it — sparked protests last week over the financial impact it would have on libraries and other entities.

At Tuesday night’s County Council meeting, council president Rafael Morton said the council was “provided additional financial information … therefore tonight I will ask for a motion to table (the resolution).”

More than 200 attendees at the packed meeting broke into applause after the resolution was tabled.

Multiple council members cited public opposition to the proposal as one of the reasons for it being dropped, in addition to having reservations themselves with the impact it would have on libraries and the timeline of its introduction by the 911 center’s executive board, which consists of county commission president Andy Kostielney, Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We’re certainly elected to a representative government and we’re supposed to represent the people,” said council member Joe Canarecci. “I think in this scenario the people spoke with a collective and loud voice. So we need to listen to them and reassess our position.”
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