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Year in review: County ends year with three ESDs
At the beginning of 2008, there were no emergency services districts (ESDs) within Wilson County. Now, at the beginning of 2013, there are three such political subdivisions.
In an election held Nov. 6, voters living in a significant portion of Wilson County overwhelmingly approved creation of the third ESD, which will fund emergency medical services (EMS) to an approximately 350-square-mile area currently serviced by the Stockdale EMS. In addition to the incorporated city of Stockdale and a portion of Nixon that crosses the county line, the district also includes the communities of Denhawken, Kosciusko, Nockenut, Pandora, Sutherland Springs, and Union Valley.
This was the second attempt at creating ESD No. 3. In 2011, in an election marred by low voter turnout, a proposal to create a district to fund both fire and ambulance services to the area narrowly was rejected.
On Dec. 27, the Wilson County Commissioners Court appointed Todd Lawson, August Moczygemba, Kirby Urrabazo, Lynn Ray West, and Terri Wolff as commissioners of the ESD No. 3 board.
Keeping commissioners on its board was one of the challenges faced by ESD No. 2, which funds fire and EMS services to the Eagle Creek area located north of Floresville, as both commissioners Sarah Gella and Keith Wildes resigned during 2012. They were replaced by Royal Munro and Larry Phillips, respectively.
The two resignations came as the dust settled from a year that began with conflicts between the ESD No. 2 board and the Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services (VES). On Feb. 3, 2012, the ESD’s board voted to suspend negotiations after Eagle Creek VES failed to provide pricing information related to a pending fire and ambulance services contract.
The board again requested EMS bids, with Eagle Creek VES quoting the lowest price from a field of three suitors. A contract was ratified Oct. 31, and the year ended with the two entities negotiating a fixed-price agreement for fire services.
ESD No. 1, which funds firefighting services to the La Vernia area through its contract with the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department, continues its forward progress with improvements to the department’s main station on U.S. 87, updating equipment, and with training its pool of volunteers. Efforts are under way to build a larger substation near the intersection of F.M. 775 and F.M. 3432, and to build another station on the eastern end of ESD No. 1’s territory.
This district saw the departure of commissioners Michael Hanson and Larry Bratten, who both declined reappointment to another term. Terry Post and Bill Mercado were appointed by the commissioners court to succeed them. Tommy Terry, who filled an unexpired term left vacant by Herb Williams, was reappointed.
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