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Floyd County board starts process to declare EMS as essential services

By Mitchell Hanson, [email protected]

The Floyd County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to begin the process of declaring ambulance service an “essential service” in the county, making it eligible for a board to be formed to levy taxes to support various emergency medical service (EMS) programs.

The first step is a 60-day notice to the public that informs Floyd County citizens of the decision. At the end of the process, a measure would be placed on the general election ballot in November asking voters whether they approve levying a property tax, income surtax or combination of the two to support EMS services. The question would require a 60% majority to pass.

After the 60-days’ notice is up, the Board of Supervisors must pass the resolution for three consecutive meetings before advancing to the public vote.

No Iowa law currently exists to mandate that ambulance service be provided, whereas fire protection and law enforcement are considered essential services and taxes are collected to support them. Last year, the Iowa Legislature passed a law making it easier for counties to decide for themselves whether or not to declare EMS an essential service.

Also at the meeting Monday, County Engineer Jacob Page announced that maintenance work would begin on the rural bridge on Jersey Avenue, north of 200th Street, southeast of Rudd. The project will be completed in “late summer, early fall,” Page said.

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