Ambulance measures pass in three districts
Residents in three districts approved measures funding ambulance services during the Nov. 3 general election.
Residents in Foster County approved an extension of a county-wide 10-mill levy by a vote of 1,175 to 532. LaMoure County residents approved an increase in the ambulance mill rate from 3.29 mills to 5 mills by a 1,519-to-594 vote.
In Stutsman County, voters in the Medina area approved the formation of a regional ambulance district by a vote of 341 to 85.
The new ambulance district includes the cities of Medina, Woodworth and Cleveland and all of the townships of Bloomenfield, Chase Lake, Chicago, Flint, Iosco, Marstenmoor, Newbury, Peterson, St Paul, Stirton, Strong, Valley Springs and Weld. Portions of Gerber, Moon Lake, Paris, Roosevelt, Wadsworth and Windsor townships are also included in the district which makes up a total of 570 square miles.
Brian Rau, an officer with the existing volunteer ambulance district, said the volunteers appreciated the public's vote.
The newly formed Medina Ambulance District will have the authority to levy a tax of up to 10 mills, although it will not collect any taxes for about a year because the vote came too late to be included in the upcoming tax statements, Rau said.
"We should be in good financial shape until then," he said.
The next step will be a public meeting for all residents of the new district called by the Stutsman County auditor. That meeting will elect a new board for the Medina Ambulance District.
"The current board of volunteers will likely be there," Rau said. "The public meeting will select a new board. Maybe some of the same people, maybe not."
The 10-mill levy will cost $45 for every $100,000 in residential property value and $50 per every $100,000 in commercial or agricultural property values. It will generate between $90,000 and $100,000 each year for the operating expenses of the ambulance district.
Historically, the Medina Ambulance has responded to between 60 and 100 calls per year, although that has varied this year, Rau said.
"Calls were down when people were less active," he said, referring to activity earlier when people were traveling less due to the coronavirus pandemic. "That has been picking up. No way to know where it is headed right now."