First responders get tax boost in Pontotoc County - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

First responders get tax boost in Pontotoc County

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Downtown Ada, Oklahoma. (KTEN) Downtown Ada, Oklahoma. (KTEN)

ADA, Okla. -- Pontotoc County emergency services are about to get an added boost thanks to taxpayers.

In January, voters approved to resume a sales tax that had expired last October.

County Commissioner Gary Starnes said the county's 911 dispatch center was falling on hard times because of the state's budgetary problems. But with this tax, emergency services will get back to where they need to be.

"Without the funds, you have to make cuts, lay people off," Starnes said. "If it had went to that, we would have been in bad shape, and with passing this tax, when you call, somebody should respond."

The Pontotoc County Sheriff's Office was having issues of its own as Sheriff John Christian took funding away from patrol operations to fund the jail. That will no longer be necessary, thanks to the additional funding from the sales tax.

"Some of our cars are getting a little older, and you certainly don't want those breaking down on the way to a call," Christian said. "We'll be able to replace some of those and do other things."

The sheriff added that this wouldn't have been possible without the trust that they've earned from the community.

"I appreciate the citizens' vote," he said. "I wish it had been 100 percent, but 75 percent is pretty good. I think that shows great trust in what we're doing, and I think people are aware of the need."

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