Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Heart of the matter with the proposed ambulance district

I am writing this comment in regards to the proposed creation of the Stillwater Ambulance District No. 1. I am expressing my views as to the need and funding of the proposal.
I am in full support of the need to have a qualified staff available 24/7 to respond to the needs of those of us who live in the proposed district and beyond.
I served as a volunteer on the ambulance services in this county until I was no longer able to keep up with the time requirements needed to be a skilled and proficient emergency provider. So, I see the need for staff available as paid full time providers.
My question of thought is to the method of funding that is proposed. I fully understand that if you tax all those entities that are faceless, there seems to be no harm, since they can all afford a bit extra on their tax bill.
But, there is always a but, each of us has a neighbor we know that is going to pay more than $37 (businesses and farm-ranches paying from $300 up to an excess of $1,000 per year) while some will pay less than $17 under the proposal. A quick look at your property tax statement (bridge fund) for last year will give you a pretty good idea of what you will pay under the proposed ambulance district.
Those neighbors are our businesses in town and our neighbors who own farms and ranches within the proposed district. Why should there be a difference in what is paid by an individual when the individual, not property, is being served by emergency response?
From public records I have found that there are 2.500-plus residences in the proposed district. I propose that if the burden were shared equally by all, with services to all, would that not be a more equitable method? That would be approximately $115 per residence.
My responsibility would double, but I consider it a fair and equitable method with all paying the same.
When the ballot comes to be (2,700-plus will be sent out to registered voters) I will vote for the district but oppose the method of financing.

John Zinne
Rapelje