Grand County votes to create EMS special service district
by Rose Egelhoff
The Times-Independent
May 03, 2018 | 952 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Grand County Council voted May 1 on a resolution approving a new EMS special service district. 			  Photo by Rose Egelhoff
The Grand County Council voted May 1 on a resolution approving a new EMS special service district. Photo by Rose Egelhoff

In October 2017, Grand County Emergency Medical Services Director Andy Smith asked the Grand County Council to create a special service district for EMS. Seven months later, that process has come to fruition. On May 1, the county council voted 4-1 to approve a resolution to create a new EMS special service district for Grand County. The district will include the City of Moab and Castle Valley.

Council Vice-Chair Curtis Wells voted in opposition. Council Members Rory Paxman and Patrick Trim were not present.

In 2016, an outside assessment concluded that EMS was not operating in a sustainable manner. That agency recommended finding “the best and most appropriate ‘home’” for the service, which is currently housed as a department within county government.

After the assessment, a local stakeholder committee of EMS administrators, county council members and local health care representatives discussed a variety of options, ultimately selecting an EMS special service district as the best choice.

As EMS call volume continues to increase, Smith has stood by the idea of a special service district, citing the need for a governing entity that is focused exclusively on EMS rather than the county council.

The council appointed three people to the EMS special service district administrative control board. Elizabeth Tubbs will serve a two-year term while Rarni Schultz and Jason Taylor will serve four-year terms. A fourth citizen, yet to be appointed, will serve a two-year term. The council said that the fourth citizen who applied, Shawn Winder, is not yet a registered voter in Grand County and will have to be appointed at a future date.

The council also appointed Council Member Evan Clapper to sit on the board as a representative for Grand County. The board will have five to seven members, the council resolved. That leaves room for Moab City and Castle Valley to each have a seat on the board.

Council Administrator Ruth Dillon said the official certificate of creation from the state could arrive as soon as sometime this month. Once the county has certified that all the requirements have been met, the state has ten days to issue a certificate of creation for the special service district. After that, the special service district administrative board can begin meeting.

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