A resolution to declare Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as an essential service in Chickasaw County has failed to advance.
At their regular meeting this week, the Board of Supervisors did not pass the third reading of the resolution to make EMS essential in the county. Even if Supervisors had advanced the measure to the ballot this November, it would still need at least 60% voter approval for the County to assess a tax levy to help pay for a public-run ambulance.
However, the voters won’t get to have that consideration after the resolution was voted down, with supervisors Jacob Hackman, Steven Breitbach and Tim Zoll voting no and supervisors Matthew Kuhn and Jason Byrne voting in favor of advancement.
The County will instead focus their attention to funding the county-run ambulance by entering into individual 28E agreements with each individual city in the County to provide funding for wages and general operations. Initial commitments will call for a $100 per capita for each citizen in each city to raise about $1.2 million.
That will be supplemented by the $1.7 million in ARPA funds the County has pledged to pay for startup costs, including the purchase of ambulances and equipment from the County’s current private provider, Jeremy McGrath and Chickasaw Ambulance Services. The contract between the two parties ends December 31st and the county is pushing to have the public ambulance ready by January 1, 2023.
Hackman said one other funding mechanism that could be considered is a one-cent local option sales tax dedicated to ambulance services.