Union County, SD commissioners put tax opt-out vote for dispatch - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Union County, SD commissioners put tax opt-out vote for dispatch center on June ballot

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UNION COUNTY, South Dakota (KTIV) - Funding for the Union County dispatch center in South Dakota has been debated for several years now. But, a vote by the county commissioners Tuesday will send the issue of a tax opt-out to fund that dispatch center to a public vote.

"We moved forward with the opt- out, and there will be an election June third to be determined by the people of the county, voters of the county," Union County Commissioner Doyle Karpen said.

Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges went before the county commission Tuesday morning to present his reasons for funding the call center and keeping it in Union County instead of outsourcing.

The Sheriff asked for a vote by the people for a tax opt-out to fund the center, and that's what he got.

"It's been a roller coaster for the employees, especially, not knowing from budget year to budget year whether they're going to still have a job or not," Sheriff Limoges said.

The decision means voters will decide whether or not to opt out of the state tax limit to fund the center.

But commissioner Doyle Karpen says changes will be made so taxes will remain about the same.

"It should be tax neutral, because the county president has an opt-out, and that opt-out would be reduced to cancel out the opt-out for the 911," Karpen said.

Sheriff Limoges says he's excited by the commissioner's decision to send the issue of funding the dispatch center to a vote, not only because keeping it open will keep the jobs in Union County, but because it will make day to day operations that much easier.

"I don't know if the commissioners understand the importance that the dispatch center provides to me. They do more than just dispatch. We're a 24 hour operation," Sheriff Limoges said.

He says he feels like the community supports the work they do within the call center at all hours of the day.

"People call, they want to talk to their local Sheriff's office, their local agency deputies to respond to their needs, and that would go away. I would lose, we as a county would lose tremendously if that did go away," Sheriff Limoges said.

And whether not it will go away is decision to be made by the public, come June 3rd.

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