Approximately a dozen area residents attend a town hall meeting Oct. 4 to discuss the proposed Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 3. Residents will have the opportunity to vote on this issue Nov. 6.
Wilson County News October 10, 2012 2,103 views 1 comment
STOCKDALE -- Rising costs and shrinking volunteer pools are just some of the reasons David Rice of the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services says the area needs its own emergency services district (ESD) for ambulance services. Rice and other community leaders continue to plead their case for formation of the taxing entity, during town hall meetings scheduled up until one day before Election Day.
On Oct. 4, two such meetings were held in the Stockdale Community Building. The second meeting, which began at 6:30 p.m., was attended by about a dozen area residents.
According to Rice, the costs associated with delivering emergency medical services to Stockdale’s estimated 350-square-mile coverage area continue to outpace the organization’s collections and other income. There currently are only 10 certified volunteers on Stockdale’s roster, with only five who regularly are available to make ambulance calls.
If voters approve the formation of the ESD, the Wilson County Commissioners Court would select five residents to serve on the district’s board. Rice said those members eventually would select an emergency medical service provider, which would be financed by an ad valorem tax not to exceed 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Rice and Michael Hanson of Wilson County ESD No. 1 reiterated that the taxes collected for the district only could be used to fund EMS services.
ESD No. 1 is a similar district created in 2008 to fund fire-protection services in the La Vernia area. It is serviced through a contract with the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department.
Hanson informed those in attendance that an ESD’s board sets the tax rate on an annual basis and that the ad valorem tax rate is constitutionally capped at 10 cents.
ESD No. 3 town hall meetings
•Oct. 10, 7 p.m. - Kosciusko Hall
•Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. - Sutherland Springs Community Bldg.
•Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. - Sutherland Springs Community Bldg.
•Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m. - Stockdale Community Bldg
•Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m. - Stockdale Community Bldg
•Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m. - Stockdale Community Bldg
For a schedule of additional town hall meetings, see list below.