Monroe County adds ambulance levy to general election ballot

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UNION, WV (WVNS) — People living in Monroe County will have a chance to vote on an ambulance levy during the general election.

If it passes, the levy will provide Emergency Management Service coverage to both ends of the county, as well as to Alderson.

Monroe County Commissioner Kevin Galford said the commission decided to put this levy on the ballot after the annual ambulance fee was suspended back in June.

“The ordinances just failed. We are only getting about 50 percent paid on it, so we cancelled the ordinance. We are still owed a bunch of money from the ordinance and at this time we are putting it on the ballot for people to say yes they want it or no,” Galford explained.

Specifically, the levy will cover the costs of employee salary and benefits over a five year period.

STAT EMS is currently responding to calls in Monroe County. While those with STAT want to stay and help the area no matter what, Director Jason Smyth said the jobs of those working for the EMS service will become a lot easier if the levy passes.

“That would definitely be a huge help to provide the area with the proper help it needs,” said Smyth.

Galford said this levy will allow the county to enter contracts with private EMS services if needed. He said they are concerned the county could return to the situation it was in before STAT EMS arrived, if the levy does not pass.

“If it don’t pass, there could be a time where there is no ambulance here, we just don’t know,” said Gilford.

Whether the levy passes or not, Smyth said they plan to continue answering calls until they cannot afford to do so. He said they answer an average of 50 calls a month. He told 59News it is difficult to operate in an area with such a small call volume. Because of this, they added services, such as helping with nursing homes and assisting dialysis patients, in order to increase the volume of their calls.

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