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The decision by the Grant County Fiscal Court magistrates to delay a final vote on a proposed ambulance tax district for the county was the right call and the most fiscally responsible thing to do at this point.
It’s no secret that the fiscal court and cities in the county need to work together to address the community’s need for better emergency services, which includes fire, ambulance and police.
Currently, ambulance service is provided by the city of Dry Ridge and Rural Metro. Dry Ridge staffs two, often times three ambulances, and responds to calls within their fire district, which is about a 100 mile-radius. Rural Metro, with only one ambulance in the county, services the rest of the community and also makes emergency and non-emergency transfers to and from the county.
That means that if Rural Metro is taking a patient from St. E. Grant County to St. Elizabeth Edgewood and an ambulance is needed in Corinth, it will be coming from Dry Ridge or from a neighboring county who has signed a mutual aid agreement with Grant County.
We’re glad the magistrates opted to delay a decision on an ambulance taxing district while they gathered more information because the worst thing they could do is pass a tax at an amount too low to address this issue.
A feasibility study for the community makes sense.
No one wants to pay more taxes any more than we want to pay more for gas or groceries, but that’s the times we are living in.
Times are tough with many struggling to keep their businesses and households afloat and an additional tax wouldn’t be welcome, but people have to ask themselves if their child is lying on the side of the road or their father had a heart attack and needed an ambulance how long are we willing to wait for help to arrive and would the cost matter then?
Minutes in an emergency count and it’s just not fair to expect the taxpayers from Dry Ridge or surrounding counties to pay for a service for the rest of Grant County residents.
Two weeks ago, a fire broke out in a machine at a Williamstown manufacturer. The initial fire response was only two volunteers from Williamstown followed by the ambulance crew from Dry Ridge, which are trained as both emergency responders and firefighters.
They were able to bring the fire under control quickly because a paid staff of employees, supplemented by volunteers, got there within minutes.
The time for relying solely on volunteers to be the community’s only line of defense and render aid in an emergency is fading.
Grant County is a growing community. The demand for services and infrastructure improvements will only continue to increase.
Putting off today what looms tomorrow is only making our community fall farther behind in meeting the public’s demands and expectations for service.
A feasibility study for an ambulance taxing district, as well as one that encompasses this community’s emergency services, is the first step in the right direction.
Again, we applaud the magistrates’ decision to get more information before making this important decision that impacts all of us.
(Editorials published in the Grant County News are the collective opinion of the News editorial team.)