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Stockdale-area ESD No. 3 continues with tight budget
Finances continue to be an issue for the Emergency Services District No. 3 (ESD) board, which serves the Stockdale area. ESDs are taxing entities, utilizing ad valorem or other tax revenue to contract for emergency services.
The Stockdale-area ESD was estimated to receive $255,000 in ad valorem taxes, but is struggling with a collection rate of approximately 86 percent, below the 90 to 95 percent similar entities are collecting. Commissioner Todd Lawson, during the ESD No. 3 May 1 meeting, said $33,000 remains outstanding.
Also related to finances, Wayne Beyer, CPA, of Beyer & Co. of Pleasanton questioned board President Lynn Ray West regarding a $10,000 loan from the city of Stockdale to the ESD in March 2013. A question of fiscal year allocation was raised for audit purposes. The Stockdale Council “borrowed” the seed money from city savings to make the loan. The funds were designated for the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for a new ambulance. West confirmed the interest-free loan was paid back in February 2014.
In other financial matters, the Stockdale EMS, the service provider contracted by the ESD, received a $25,000 disbursement from Wilson County, as well as its second quarterly installment payment of $39,383 from the ESD.
Commissioner Carlos Salazar, while reviewing the financial report prepared by Stockdale Emergency Medical Services Director David Rice, questioned the amount of overtime paid to paramedics. This overtime was necessary, as the EMS is operating with a shortage of at least four paramedics, according to the EMS report.
In other business, Commissioner Teri Wolff said the ESD has joined the Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D) as a small county entity, resulting in discounts for the group for things such as continuing education.
The board members were advised of several opportunities to obtain their necessary continuing education credits. Board members are required to earn six hours per two-year period.
In old business, Salazar said he spoke with Wilson County Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek regarding the Emergency Service Number (ESN) district boundaries and emergency-service numbers, an issue ongoing since June 6, 2013. Though the data was forwarded to the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in early March, the project is not yet complete.
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