EMS Town Hall Budget Meetings
Two town hall meetings this week drew a total of perhaps 60 residents to learn about the Emergency Medical Services budget and plans for a possible levy vote in August.
The new EMS Chief, Jerry Martin, told those at both meetings that the proposed budget now balances if a property tax levy rate of 50 cents per thousand can be approved by the voters.
It is the public hospital district board that will determine what levy to ask for, and when.
Their next meeting is Wednesday, April 27, at 5:30 in the county’s legislative building across from the courthouse – open, as always, to the public.
At the town hall meetings Chief Martin provided background information, presented a rough but balanced budget, and asked for support of a levy at the 50-cent level.
The current levy, 35 cents per thousand, which expires at the end of 2016, was approved by district voters in February 2010. The public hospital district went to the voters in February 2014 asking for approval of a permanent levy at the rate of $0.50 per $1,000. It failed. The district went to the voters in November 2014 asking for approval of a 6-year levy at $0.50 per $1,000. It too failed.
A fact sheet (EMS Levy Q&A) handed out at both meetings is available to the public in either hard copy or electronically from district superintendent Pamela Hutchins at 378-2857 or hutchins [@] sjcphd.org.
It was compiled by the Budget Review Committee appointed by the board in an effort to initiate a community conversation about EMS matters. The Budget Review Committee is made up of Chief Martin, commissioners Mark Schwinge and either commission chair Bill Williams or commissioner Monica Harrington (alternating), citizens Brian Moore, John Hinchcliffe, and Karin Agosta, and Superintendent Hutchins.
The public is also encouraged to send questions and comments to Hutchins.