continued “We have an aging population, and quick response by an ambulance is absolutely imperative,” he said. “I wouldn’t be opposed to paying more in taxes.”
Thurman EMS acting squad captain Josh Hayes seconded the point.
“Warrensburg is 15 minutes away,” he said. “In medical emergencies, treatment in those few minutes is vital.”
Irv West said that the local fire district levies a tax of about $550 per household, and a similar charge, levied by the town for EMS services, would provide greater benefit for more taxpayers.
Stephanie Goslin suggested that a new taxing district be formed so an EMS tax would appear as a separate item on local property tax bills. Wood countered that setting up a district would cost as much as $10,000 but not offer much of a benefit.
Mike Eddy, who served as spokesperson for the audience, asked the board to hold a referendum on funding EMS services. Wood said such a public vote would constitute and illegal use of taxpayer money.
Thurman-based contractor Mike Eddy, backed up by about 100 townspeople, confronts the Thurman Town Board Feb. 12, calling for the town government to financially support Thurman’s independent ambulance squad. A proposition to appropriate $62,000 to the squad for 2013 was defeated by the board by a 2-3 vote.
Photo by Thom Randall