Ambulance consolidation goes to Eagle County voters in October
EDWARDS — The consolidation of Eagle County’s two ambulance districts will soon go to western Eagle County voters. Eagle County Paramedic Services is completing the process of merging the services of Eagle County Health Service District and Western Eagle County Health Services District.
The consolidation plan involves an inclusion election for voters in the current Western Eagle County Health Services District service area, including Eagle and Gypsum, which will be held Oct. 1.
Voters will be asked to approve a measure amending boundaries allowing Western Eagle County Health Services District to be included in the Eagle County Health Service District service area. Passage would allow for the dissolution of Western Eagle County Health Services District and reduce property tax rates from the current five mills to two mills.
Property owners in western Eagle County would see the mill levy reduction implemented in 2015.
“We feel this election is the simplest way to finalize the merger procedure,” said Fred Morrison, CEO of Eagle County Paramedic Services. “ECPS continues to consolidate services to offer a superior standard of care to all Eagle County residents.”
Beginning May 1, all paramedic service employees in the county were moved to the same shift schedule and can be working at any of the five ambulance stations in the county.
“We think the decision to create a county-wide Health Service District makes sense both operationally and financially,” said Christopher Montera, assistant CEO of Eagle County Paramedic Services and Western Eagle County Health Services District’s former chief. “Merging our services has improved coverage as we can now move resources throughout the county to assure quick response.”
If voters do not adopt the inclusion measure, then Eagle County Paramedic Services will continue to operate as a merged entity through inter-governmental agreements. However, the five mill rate would remain in place for Western Eagle County Health Services District taxpayers.
Pending voter approval and ratification of results, Eagle County District Court will order the final merger. Once this is accomplished, the boards of directors for the two districts will then be consolidated and the merging process should be complete by late October.
Voting in the inclusion election will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 785 Red Table Drive in Gypsum at the Ambulance Station, or by absentee ballot. Absentee ballot request forms can be obtained by calling 970-926-5270.