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Health

Gogebic County is asking voters to renew millage for ambulance services for next three years

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Next month, voters in Gogebic County will be asked to renew the millage rate to help pay for ambulance service in the county.

The current millage is set to expire this year.

If it passes, the millage would be renewed at the current rate of a dollar per $1,000 of taxable value for a period of three years.

“The millage is necessary. Across rural America, not just our area, it is difficult for ambulances to respond to emergencies due to lack of employees, reduced volume, and declining reimbursements. Without additional financial support ambulance services is ultimately unfeasible,” said Heidi DeRosso, the emergency management, 911, and ambulance coordinator for Gogebic County.

Currently, Beacon Ambulance covers the west end of the county, and Gogebic County contracts with Aspirus MedEvac to cover the east end.

While there are challenges to ambulance services, DeRosso feels they can maintain service if the current millage is renewed.

“We did speak with Beacon and Aspirus regarding contracts for the next three years and we feel by watching our money we’ll be able to remain at that 1 mill for the next three years,” said DeRosso.

There are two upcoming public forums to learn more about ambulance service in the county.

The first is Monday, October 18th at 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Watersmeet Town Hall.

The second will be Thursday, October 21st at 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Ironwood Memorial Building Auditorium.

The millage question will be on the November 2nd ballot.

This is how the question will appear on the ballot:

Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property except that property exempted by law, in Gogebic County, be renewed by .9951 mill ($.9951 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of 3 years, 2022 to 2024, inclusive, and also may be restored up to .50 mill ($0.50 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of 3 years 2022 to 2024, inclusive, to restore funds to supplement countywide emergency medical care, equipment, training and other related expenses for medical purposes; the estimate of the revenue the County will collect if the millage is approved and 1 mill is levied in 2022 is approximately $554,426 (this millage is to renew millage that will expire with the 2021 levy and to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore that reduction)?

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