BOND COUNTY 911 TO RECEIVE SURCHARGE ON VOIP
Although it is currently not required, Vonage has agreed to place a $1.25 surcharge per month on its voice over internet phone customers. Bond County’s 9-1-1 system will receive the surcharge from local residents who have Vonage VOIP. State law only requires 9-1-1 surcharges on landline and cellular phones.
Bond County 9-1-1 finished the fiscal year with additional revenue for both landline and wireless lines than anticipated. Coordinator Allan Davis told WGEL that the landline surcharge collected $142,684 in comparison to the $130,000 projected. The wireless surcharge resulted in nearly $9,000 more than budgeted with a total of $48,947. Davis said that some counties are finding that the wireless surcharge totals are catching up to landlines.
Following up on a discussion from their November meeting, the Bond County Emergency Telephone Systems Board is still interested in providing 9-1-1 mapping to each fire district and EMS agency in the county. Davis said each fire district and each EMS would receive one 9-1-1 map and laptop. Although the current cost for the mapping license is $1,000, the company that Bond County purchases them from has agreed to sell it for the old rate of $500. However, after the first of the year a new viewer-only license will be offered. This provides limited access to the map but would satisfy the needs of firefighters and EMS. Davis said this could be a viable option.
The ETSB held officer elections at their meeting last Thursday. The slate remains the same with Rex Catron, chairman; Robbie Neer, vice-chairman; Sara McPeak, secretary; and Lou Lorton, treasurer.
BROOM SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED AT UNIT 2 BOARD MEETING
The establishment of a scholarship in memory of two Greenville natives was announced at the Unit 2 Board of Education Meeting Monday night. Gordon & Willard Broom presented a $100,000 check to the Academic Foundation to provide original funding for a four-year scholarship to a selected Greenville High School graduate. Gordon and his brother Willard spoke on behalf of five brothers, their wives and children on the value of family, education and public service instilled upon them by their late parents, Ralph and Audrey Broom. All five sons graduated from Greenville High School and went on to college; four to the University of Illinois, one to Western Illinois University. Gordon said that college was never a choice, it was just something that they knew they were going to do after high school.
The scholarship will start at $1,000 a year for four years and be offered to a graduate of Greenville High School who is an exemplary student and has enrolled in a four-year college, with preference given to those attending the University of Illinois. The Broom's heirs have supplied the original funding with the interest earnings from the investment to continue expanding the scholarship.
The Brooms thanked the school board for allowing the establishment of the scholarship in memory of their parents. Board president, Mike Suess spoke on behalf of the board and said it was an honor for the Broom's to pick the Unit 2 school district to continue their parents values in education. WGEL will have more from the Unit 2 Board of Education meeting in our afternoon newscasts.
UNIT 1 AND 2 SCHOOL DISTRICTS RECEIVE AED DEVICES THROUGH GRANTS
As a result of a recent grant from the Illinois Rural Health Association, every school building in the Unit 2 and Unit 1 School Districts now have Automatic External Defibrillator devices or AEDs. Susan Kelley, Registered Nurse for the Unit 2 School District, said their goal is to get the word out that they have these devices available while the school buildings are in use by the public. She commented that up till now, the Greenville Elementary and Jr. High buildings each shared one AED, but with this grant, the Greenville Elementary now has it's own. Kelley said there are signs in each building directing towards the AEDs.
Mulberry Grove High School Principal Mike Gauch said they received two AEDs through the Illinois Rural Health Association grant applied for by Superintendent Greg Irwin; one for the elementary school gym and one for the high school gym. Gauch commented the district also has one in the school cafeteria. The state of Illinois requires all schools and other public buildings have AED's accessible.