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Arkansas may increase 911 cellphone fees

Emergency experts say Arkansas 911 centers receive more than 2.3 million calls annually and 90 percent are made by cellphone. (MGN Photo)

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas counties are pushing to increase the fee on cellphones for 911 emergency response services.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that counties hope to at least double the fee to 65 cents per month.

Emergency experts say Arkansas 911 centers receive more than 2.3 million calls annually and 90 percent are made by cellphone. They say the current fee structure was created to be supported by charges to landline users and hasn't covered costs for years.

Josh Curtis is the governmental affairs director of the Association of Arkansas Counties. He told Legislative committees Thursday that the increase is expected to generate $20 million a year.

Curtis says counties will also seek to have one state board granted the authority to coordinate 911 call centers.

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