STANTON — Voters overwhelmingly approved renewing a Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services millage Tuesday.
Voters were asked to approve renewing 0.75 mills over three years to provide funds for maintenance and operations of ambulance and medical first response services from 2013 to 2016. Residents will pay 75 cents for every $1,000 of taxable value on their property.
The final vote tally was 3,926 votes to 2,149 votes, or 65 percent to 35 percent. A total of $1,214,768.54 is expected to be generated for EMS in the first year (2013).
“We’re all very happy today,” said EMS Director David Feldpausch. “I had a good feeling about the election. We’ve generally been supported by the community so I wasn’t shocked by the results, but I was nervous.”
Feldpausch said it’s a little stressful when the future of an entire organization rides on a vote.
“(Deputy Director) Eric Smith and I spent a lot of time making sure everybody knew it was a renewal and not an increase,” Feldpausch said. “I’d like to thank the people for their support.”
Locally, calls to EMS have increased by almost 1,000 since 2010 and have nearly doubled since 2000, according to Feldpausch.
In the meantime, EMS officials have been doing more with less. In the past, voters approved a full 1 mill for EMS. At that time, the EMS department only had four ambulances. Since then, EMS officials have increased the ambulance fleet of four to nine, replaced eight of 10 rescue units, replaced all high-maintenance units, replaced half the cardiac monitors and currently have two licensed back-up units in case of maintenance or repair work.