Ambulance issue back on table
For a moment Thursday night, it looked and felt like 2019 all over again.
The scene? The Community Services Building in New Hampton. The meeting? The Chickasaw Council Ambulance Council. The atmosphere: Highly charged, at least at times.
And when the council, made up of representatives of each of the cities in the county as well as one member of the Board of Supervisors, adjourned, it was right where it started with a little more than a month before the county must decide if it will bring an EMS-is-essential-service referendum to residents.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Jake Hackman presented the Ambulance Council with a proposed new 28E agreement that, in essence, would provide an agreement on how EMS services would be funded if voters approved deeming EMS an essential service so that property taxes can be levied.
Hackman asked the council members to take the proposed agreement back to their respective city councils, reminding them of the Aug. 27 deadline to get the issue on the 2020 election ballot.
And almost immediately, he came under fire.
“The only county in the state to have a voter-approved EMS levy in place is Wright County,” former Chickasaw County Supervisor Rick Holthaus said, “and from start to finish, it took two years to get that 28E agreement together. And we’re going to do this in a month? I don’t think so.”
Former Chickasaw County EMS Director Ken Rasing agreed.
— For more on this story, see the July 28 Tribune