A joint meeting of the San Saba City Council, County Commissioners, and an appointed Committee to look further into EMS funding, was held in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1p.m. on Wednesday, May 12th.
Most of the discussion held at the meeting was related to recommendations received in a memo from the Committee, which was provided to the City Council and County Commissioners prior to the meeting. The discussion included comments from the Committee, Council members, the Judge and Commissioners, in addition to those present wishing to express their feelings of the great importance of the EMS to the community of San Saba. The Committee presented their recommendations, which included discussions regarding:
a. The value of an effective EMS service in San Saba County
b. What level of EMS service is desired for San Saba County
c. Funding the EMS services and how to make those funding levels fair to all residents of the County of San Saba
d. The level of funding to be provided by the City of San Saba through an interlocal agreement
e. The current state of operations at the EMS and the lack of volunteers
f. The importance of appointing an EMS Oversight Board to manage the newly structured program
Following the discussions, the City Council made a motion and approved the funding of $80,000 to be made available in the budget year beginning on October 1, 2010. The County will need more time to evaluate the property tax base and property tax rates prior to making a decision regarding its own level of funding for the newly formed EMS program. The City Council and the County Commissioners previously made emergency budget amendments, which provided $55,000 ($27,500 each) at a meeting in early May that is available at this time.
In the interim period to September 30, 2010, the EMS is being co-managed by the City Council and the County Commissioners. On October 1, 2010, San Saba County will take over full responsibility for the program.
An independent EMS Oversight Board of three appointed members is in the process of being selected by the City Council and the County Commissioners to move further into the process of hiring paramedics and EMTs, in addition to creating a more concrete budget for the new EMS.
The members who provided the recommendations at the joint meeting this past Wednesday were: Kevin Shahan, Cissy Williams, Rila Roberds, Jackie Brister, Jarvis Shaw and Oleta Behrens. Both Mayor Jordan and Judge Theodosis expressed their gratitude for the hard work and research completed by the Committee.