(Posted Oct. 13, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Sterling Joint Ambulance District is seeking replacement of two identical 1.5-mill, five-year property tax levies for current expenses.
If passed, the replacements would bring tax collections up to date with current property valuations. Currently, each levy generates $263,000 per year and costs the taxpayer $23 per year per $100,000 of property valuation. If replaced, each levy would generate $447,000 per year and cost the taxpayer $53 per year per $100,000 of property valuation.
Replacement of the two tax levies would allow the ambulance district to keep up with current expenses, as well as offer competitive wages to maintain quality personnel, said Chief Dave Taylor.
The district’s personnel structure has changed over the years. At one time, the district operated with a combination of full-time paramedics and volunteers. They then started adding part-timers on some days. They now operate with a combination of full-time employees, part-time employees, and volunteers every day. Current staffing stands at 12 full-time paramedics, seven part-time paramedics, and 12 volunteers.
Updated levy funding also would allow the district to improve coverage and response time in the Range Township area.
“We’re trying to expand our coverage by putting an ambulance at the Range Township fire station. Right now, we’re doing that Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Taylor said. “We would like to have a truck there 24/7, but our current operating budget doesn’t let us staff it 24/7.”
This year’s call volume throughout the district is comparable to 2022 numbers. Last year, the district handled 1,450 dispatched calls that generated 1,720 patient care reports.
The Sterling Joint Ambulance District’s 179-square mile coverage area includes Pleasant, Range, and Stokes townships in Madison County, the village of Mount Sterling, and Darby Township in Pickaway County. The district also supplies contracted services to Monroe Township in Pickaway County.