The legislature recognizes the paramount importance of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the state and further recognizes that when the lives or property of its citizens are in imminent danger that timely and appropriate assistance must be rendered. The legislature recognizes further that such assistance is almost always summoned by telephone and that a multiplicity of emergency telephone numbers exist within any one county and that unintentional, though avoidable, delays in reaching appropriate emergency aid can and do occur to the detriment and jeopardy of life and property. The legislature acknowledges that the three digit number, 911, is a nationally recognized and applied telephone number which may be used to summon emergency aid and to eliminate delays caused by lack of familiarity with emergency numbers and by understandable confusion in circumstances of crisis. The legislature finds that the enhanced emergency telephone service known as E911 provides substantial benefits beyond basic 911 systems through the provision of selective routing and automatic number and location identification and that these enhancements not only significantly reduce the response time of emergency services but also represent the state of the art in fail-safe emergency telephone system technology. The legislature further finds that a major obstacle to the establishment of an E911 system in the various counties within the state is the cost of the telecommunication equipment and services which are necessary to provide such system. The legislature further finds and declares that, by the enactment of the provisions of this article, it is the intent of the legislature to fulfill its obligation to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people of this state by providing counties with a funding mechanism to assist in the payment of the costs associated with establishing and maintaining an E911 system and thereby considerably increase the potential for providing all citizens of this state with the valuable services inherent in an E911 system.