Ralls County citizens stepped forward on Tuesday, placing their votes of confidence in the Ralls County 911 Board.
“It took a lot of courage to step out and vote to double the tax rate,” said Tom Ruhl, Ralls County assessor.
The issue passed, garnering 69.48 percent of the 1,209 votes cast.
Following months of turmoil and controversy surrounding the Ralls County 911 dispatch center, the center ultimately closed and response duties were transferred to the Marion County 911 center. The Ralls board restructured amid the controversy, and came forward to ask citizens for a tax increase to keep the center in the county.
Tuesday’s vote is a vote of confidence in what the board is trying to do.
“Thank God the people of the county” came out in favor of this issue, Ruhl said. “I was pleasantly surprised how many people came out when it was the only thing on the ballot.
“I’m pretty proud of Ralls County for what they’ve done,” he said. “They saved the 911 center.”
He credited board member Sandy Lanier for taking a leadership role in getting this issue passed.
The board has already formed a committee to begin the process of determining the qualifications and the process to hire a new director in anticipation of the issue’s passage.