Cheboygan County Millage Proposal

800 MHz Radio System for Emergency Responders

Frequently Asked Questions


Question: What is the millage proposal?

The ballot language as approved by the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners is as follows:


“Shall the tax limitation imposed under Article IX, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution

on the amount of ad valorem taxes which may be levied by the County of Cheboygan,

State of Michigan, against taxable property in the County be increased by up to .5 mills

($.50 per $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of four (4) years, 2018 through 2021,

inclusive, for the purpose of providing Cheboygan County’s share of the funds needed

by the CCE 911 Central Dispatch Authority (CCE) to purchase, install, maintain, and

replace upgraded radio equipment for use by CCE and emergency service providers

within Cheboygan County and to upgrade radio system infrastructure, including tower

and tower equipment, required by the upgraded radio equipment, and shall the

Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners be authorized to levy such millage for

these purposes? If approved and levied in its entirety, this millage would raise an

estimated $717,761 for Cheboygan County in 2018.”


Question: How much will this cost the taxpayer?

The owner of a taxable value of $50,000 would pay an additional $25 dollars per year.The owner of a taxable value of $100,000 would pay an additional $50 dollars per year.

Question: What is CCE? (Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet County Dispatch Authority)

  • C.C.E. Central Dispatch Authority (CCE) is the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point for the counties of Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet.  CCE intakes both emergency and non-emergency 9-1-1 calls for service. 
  • All Emergency Services in the three county area, Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS, are coordinated and dispatched through this radio system.
  • CCE dispatches for 13 law enforcement agencies, 25 fire departments, 9 EMS agencies, and 11 Medical First Responder units across the tri-county region

Question: Why is this millage being proposed?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered narrow banding to frequencies available to public safety agencies, and in 2013 the first round of narrow banding took place. Narrow banding required the radio frequencies used by CCE to be spaced closer to the radio frequencies used by other operators. This resulted in a measurable loss of radio coverage in the three county area similar to the reception problems that occur when two radio stations are close together on the radio. Further narrow banding is scheduled in the near future, which will again affect the ability of first responders and others to communicate by radio in the three county area. Despite significant investments in the radio system and in technology improvements, the current system still lacks the reliability and strength needed for the very large area it services.The millage would allow for upgrading the current emergency responder radio system.


Question: How will a new radio system affect Cheboygan County?

  • Due to current narrow banding issues, coverage in the three county area is at about 70%.A change to the State of Michigan 800MHz (MPSCS) system would improve that coverage to about 98%.
  • The 800MHz system is improved, more modern technology compared to the current VHF system in use in Cheboygan County.
  • Reliability, strength, interoperability, and coverage areas would all improve with a transition to this system

Question: What will the money raised by the millage provide?

  • The funding would be used to purchase a new infrastructure system capable of delivering the 800 MHz system radio communications.
  • New 800 MHz radios and related equipment for all law enforcement, fire service, and emergency medical services agencies, vehicles, and personnel in Cheboygan County (as necessary)

Question: What is total cost of the system and how much of the cost is attributed to Cheboygan County?

  • The total cost of the system will be approximately 10 million dollars
  • Costs associated with Cheboygan County’s law enforcement, fire service and emergency medical services agencies will be approximately $2.74 million dollars

Question:  Are Charlevoix and Emmet Counties also seeking millages? 

Yes.  Each County is required to come up with a funding source to cover the cost in the 800 MHz System. Cheboygan County has decided to put this millage request to the voters of Cheboygan County to fulfill these project cost.




County Administrator
Jeffery Lawson
(231) 627-8855

870 South Main St
PO 70
Cheboygan, MI 49721
Fax: (231) 627-8881

County Administrator
Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm

Additional Staff
Administrative Assistant
Kathy Morrow