Members of the Winchester emergency medical service anticipated receiving some funds this year after county citizens approved in June to establish a special service area, replete with taxes that would help pay for the service. However, a decision on the service area was postponed by the Scott County commissioners until the border questions were settled.
Meanwhile, the deadline to approve a charge on the area had already gone. Scott County Chairman Bob Schafer indicated that the window of opportunity to approve the service area was extremely narrow due to the close proximity of the election, the filing, the public hearing, and the petition period.
“We have to follow the procedure outlined and it took longer than expected,”
The special service area and fee would have needed to be approved and levied by the end of the year in order for Winchester EMS to obtain funding. Schafer claimed the board had planned to vote after the petition period ended but was told to hold off. Time lost waiting meant the vote was cast too late.
The next paragraphs contain links to the articles that are required reading for this assignment because they go into greater detail about the county:
- An Aviation Career Training Center to be Funded by Miami-Dade County
- Salt Lake County Council Funds New Cottonwood Canyons Shuttle Service
- Toyota Receives Funds to Create a Fuel Cell Hilux in the UK
Winchester EMS board president Randy Dolen expressed disappointment that the program will not be receiving money this summer as had been anticipated.
“Everything that needs to be done on our side for it to go through has been done,”
“We are just waiting on the county.”
To ease the burden on the service’s volunteer members, the levy would give around $260,000 each year to fund salaries. Specifically, six new jobs would be made possible, three for each of two shifts.
“Last year, we had 550 calls and more than once we’ve had rigs going to Springfield,”
“We can’t do it with the volunteers we have. Something has to happen with our funding.”
According to Schafer, the deadline for petitions opposing the creation of the service area was December 24th, and no one filed a petition. Schafer explained that the problem emerged when the board had concerns about the limits that needed to be resolved before it could give its final approval.
“There was some discussion about the boundaries and the advice by the state’s attorney was to wait until we have the discrepancy fixed before we voted,”
In the end, Schafer said, there were no problems discovered with the boundaries, and the special service area was approved. However, the county can’t approve a levy until the year is over.
“We can’t levy, per the ordinance, for 2023,”
“Unless the state’s attorney can come up with something else, we won’t levy until the end of the year.”