911 Service District FAQ's

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In November 2019, Benton County voters approved the service district to support emergency 911 dispatch services throughout Benton County, Oregon. Now that it is approved, the new district will replace the existing 911 agreement that dates back to 1983. Emergency telecommunications evolved in both technological capabilities and customer expectations in the 35 years since the original agreement was put into place. This resource answers some common questions about the service district and how it will affect communities in Benton County, now that the measure has passed.

Q: How are 911 services delivered in Benton County?

A: The Corvallis Regional Communications Center (CRCC) provides 911 emergency telecommunications and dispatch services for all of Benton County, an area of about 726 square miles. This includes services to the following public emergency agencies:

  • Adair Rural Fire Protection District
  • Alsea Rural Fire Protection District
  • Benton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Blodgett Rural Fire Protection District
  • Corvallis Fire Department (Including the Corvallis Rural Fire Protection District)
  • Corvallis Police Department
  • Hoskins/Kings Valley Rural Fire Protection District
  • Monroe Rural Fire Protection District
  • Philomath Police Department
  • Philomath Rural Fire Protection District

This service also includes coordinating mutual aid responses with neighboring jurisdictions, coordinating air ambulance responses, and dispatching for the U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

CRCC operates about $7 million in communications equipment and technology throughout the county. Now that the district is approved, equipment will be maintained to industry standards to provide everyday usability and availability in the event of an emergency.

Q: Why were voters asked to consider a new service district?

A: The service district will equitably share the cost of providing 911 services throughout Benton County. The existing 911 agreement dates back to 1983 and has remained largely unchanged even as the population of Benton County has increased 24% in the past 35 years. The 911 center experienced a rise in the use of mobile phone technology and a 132% increase in dispatched calls for service over the past three decades. The number of calls dispatched within 60 seconds – a common industry benchmark – has changed from 93% in 2006 to 71% in 2018. The new 911 service district will provide funding to hire 11 additional dispatchers and upgrade equipment at CRCC. Additional staffing and equipment upgrades will reduce response times, and improve communication and situational awareness.

Q: How does the district affect me, now that it is approved?

A: The new 911 service district will appear on your Benton County property tax bill. The tax rate for the new district will be $0.65 per $1,000 of assessed value, which will generate about $5.6 million annually. Funding gathered through the district will be distributed to CRCC by the Benton County Board of Commissioners.

Q: Why was this measure referred to the voters? 

A: CRCC began exploring the possibility of developing a 911 service district for Benton County following a report produced in 2012 by ESCI Inc., and the 2018 Benton County Criminal Justice System Assessment.

Communities in Benton County responded with interest when approached by CRCC. Over the last 18 months, CRCC delivered presentations about the 911 service district to the following organizations:

  • Adair Village
  • Alsea Rural Fire Protection District
  • Benton County
  • Corvallis
  • Monroe
  • Philomath

Similar districts were passed by voters in Deschutes County and Hood River County to support 911 services in those areas.

 

This information was reviewed by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office for compliance with ORS 260.432.