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Ambulance budget to be discussed at public forum

Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas.

Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas. Photo by Daniel E. Alexander.

— The Town of Jay, in conjunction with the Au Sable Forks Volunteer Ambulance Service and the Town of Black Brook, will be hosting a Public Information Session to discuss the proposed 2013 Au Sable Forks Ambulance Budget Contract between the Towns of Jay and Black Brook.

The session will be held on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Town of Jay Community Center’s gymnasium in Au Sable Forks. The public is highly encouraged to attend.

“The Town of Jay Board and Budget Officer have worked diligently over the last several years to keep the average tax levy increase below 2 percent, even during our most stressful times such as Tropical Storm Irene,” Supervisor Randy Douglas said.

The Town of Jay is asking for public input at this session. Currently, the Town of Jay’s Preliminary Budget for 2013 has a proposed overall increase of 1.5 percent on the tax levy; below the 2 percent tax cap mandate.

However, the Au Sable Forks Ambulance is proposing an increase to their budget of $85,351. This increase would enable them to provide 24/7 coverage to their service area, by hiring the necessary paid staff.

Last year, the Au Sable Forks Ambulance Budget was $214,127 and with this years proposed increase, it would be $299,478. This cost would be shared by both the Towns of Jay at approximately 68 percent and Black Brook at approximately 32 percent.

“If the Towns of Jay and Black Brook accept the proposed 2013 Au Sable Forks Ambulance Budget, the Town of Jay’s Tax Levy would increase 5 percent versus our proposed Preliminary Budget increase of 1.5 percent,” Douglas said.

For example, in the Town of Jay; on an assessed home of $100K, 24/7 Ambulance Service Coverage for 2013 would cost approximately $23 more in taxes annually. The public has expressed a need for 24/7 hour coverage in our area and these figures are what they need to consider and if it’s affordable to them.

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