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Two levies likely headed to fall ballot

County voters likely will have a couple of levies to consider for approval in the November general election.

During the monthly update with Williams County EMS, Williams County Commissioner Bart Westfall said he and EMS staff have been meeting to discuss the particulars of a possible levy.

“We did meet yesterday and we are starting the process with the levy, we will be coming to the board of commissioners with a recommendation soon,” Westfall said.

Last fall, voters rejected a proposed 3.5 mil levy for EMS operations that would have generated $2.9 million each year. Supporters said the levy would have allowed the agency to expand services in parts of the county and reduced response times.

During Tuesday’s monthly meeting, EMS Executive Director Kyle Brigle reviewed statistics from the first two full months of this year for its three LifeSquad ambulances.

He said LifeSquad 1 had total 363 calls, which include 911 and transfers.

“Their average call time, from page time to back in service, was 58.79 minutes,” Brigle said. “Their average response time, which is page time to on scene time, was 10.03 minutes.”

LifeSquad 2 had 359 total calls, and call time averaged 41.05 minutes and 8.3 minutes average response time.

“Big difference between those two, but LifeSquad 1 has a lot further transport distance than does LifeSquad 2 most of the time,” Brigle said.

LifeSquad 3, which is only in service 12 hours per day, had 152 calls and its average call time was more than 80 minutes, while the average response time was 10.16 minutes.

“In the afternoon, they (LifeSquad 3) do quite a few transfers out of county, so that’s what pushed their time so high,” Brigle said.

Brigle also informed the commissioners that the agency has made some changes concerning non-emergency transports from hospitals and other facilities. EMS will no longer be accepting requests for patients from the hospital back to residences.

EMS will also not be transporting patients who are able to walk on their own from one facility to another.

The other levy voters are going to see is a 1-mil renewal levy for the Williams County Public Library that will last five years if approved again. The commissioners approved Tuesday putting it on the Nov. 5 ballot.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

Learned there have been 27 applicants for the EMS office assistant position and held an executive session with EMS to discuss personnel.

Approved updates to a fair housing policy for the county.

Approved re-appointing Scott Wyse, Kirk Vashaw and Aaron Herman to the Williams County Airport Authority Board.

Approved accepting sealed bids for the asphalt paving program until 10 a.m. on April 4.

Discussed purchasing new Tasers for the sheriff’s office. The estimated cost is $27,920 for 20 units and research will be done to see if any grants are available to lower the cost for the county.

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