11/6/2006 11:29:00 AM Editorial Ambulance service future is at stake
Emergency medical personnel sometimes must make life-and-death decisions. On Tuesday, Crawford County voters will do the same.
A referendum on the ballot asks voters to give the Crawford County Board permission to increase the tax levy used to support United Life Care Ambulance from .05 percent to as much as .19 percent. The tax revenues help the service stay afloat at a time when expenses are skyrocketing and revenues are dwindling. The increase could help keep the skilled, locally-owned service going - saving lives in the process.
United Life Care has been hurting financially for several years, in part because of a county-board decision to not levy the ambulance tax for two years about six years ago. Now, the board is asking voters to let it make amends for that less-than-prudent decision with an increase that finally puts Crawford County on par with neighboring counties' support for their ambulance services.
No one wants to pay more taxes. Indeed, the levy likely was shelved temporarily to give taxpayers relief at a time when the ambulance fund was in the black. But no one wants to be without a local ambulance service, either.
If voters reject the referendum Tuesday, the future of our ambulance service is at stake. That's not a scare tactic of those who want you to vote "yes" - it's a bottom-line reality.