Voters to decide if ambulance is “essential service”
The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Monday to place a measure on the ballot this fall that would allow county residents to decide if ambulance service can be a deemed an essential service.
If they do so, the county can levy taxes to help support ambulance service. The vote will take place Nov. 5, when both municipal and school board elections will be held. Voters will not only decide the "essential service question" but also how to fund the service, wither with property taxes and a combination of income-surcharge taxes and levies on property.
Iowa law states that police and fire are “essential services,” and that means local government entities can collect taxes to support those services.
The Chickasaw Ambulance Council, which meets Monday at 5 p.m., has been wrestling with the ambulance issue since the Chickasaw Ambulance Service opted out of a five-year contract. The service is required to provide service only through June 30, and although it was the only company to provide a bid after the Ambulance Council called for request for proposals (RFP), the contract was rejected by council members late last month.
In past years, the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors has provided $50,000 a year to the Chickasaw Ambulance Service, but supervisors did not budget any money for the ambulance service in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
— For more on the Ambulance Council meeting, refer back to nhtrib.com and see the May 14 and May 21 Tribunes