Voters to decide Kalispell EMS levy


Voters to decide Kalispell EMS levy

KALISPELL, Mont. - Kalispell emergency medical services officials tell us they're counting on a special emergency services levy to pick up the slack.

Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman says his ability to have reliable emergency medical services for people in the Flathead is very important. That's why he's hoping the city passes a new proposed EMS mill levy for Kalispell crews.

"When I look at the emergency services I look at the long-term sustainability.  Is it going to be there 10, 20, 30 years from now?  And I think that's something that's important to a community," said Dedman.

The levy would set aside $760,000 for emergency medical services like ambulances and paramedics.

For taxes, that's an extra $48 a year on a home valued at $200,000.

Kalispell City Manager Doug Russell says they've has been discussing ways to help the city's EMS. He feels it's the type of decision that ultimately should be left up to the voters.

"Have the community input about the level or services they would like to see from their ambulance services and their emergency medical components, so that will come before the voters in November to really identify the level or services that the community wants," said Russell

The levy would have no sunset date.

It isn't going to just help solve problems now. Both Russell and Dedman agree that this will address budget concerns down the line as well.

"When we researched this, we looked for long-term fixes.  We don't want a band-aid fix for it today or tomorrow," said Dedman.

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