North Baltimore puts off EMS levy try

By ERIC SCHAADT
Staff Writer
NORTH BALTIMORE — A levy to help alleviate staffing problems at the North Baltimore Emergency Medical Service won’t appear on the May ballot, as village officials want more time to consider options.
But the levy likely will be on the fall ballot, according to village officials.
North Baltimore Council this week took no action on a resolution to put a five-year, 3-mill levy on the May ballot. If passed by voters, the tax would generate $120,000 annually.
Village officials have been grappling with ways to upgrade the emergency medical service, which is staffed by volunteer emergency medical technicians.
Missed emergency runs, difficulty in filling shifts, and billing problems have hampered the service, which has responded by hiring a collection service.
Council now will consider whether to place a funding request on the November ballot.
“They’re just continuing to gather information for making the best decision for North Baltimore,” Village Administrator Kathy Healy said Wednesday.
“They (council) didn’t want to rush into a levy,” Healy added.
Village officials have held public sessions to get input, and more meetings probably will be held.
Options include employing full-time EMTs to provide service around the clock, or hiring an outside firm to run the operation.
Another option is to form a joint operation with Henry Township.
A November ballot initiative could come in the shape of a property tax, an income tax, or a combination of the two.
Council’s Public Safety Committee is expected to make a recommendation to the full council.
In another tax issue, Village Council placed a five-year, 2-mill renewal levy before voters in May for street repairs and construction.
On the books since 2009, the tax generates $80,000 a year, according to village representatives.
Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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