County seeks money for EMS

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By David Giuliani

San Miguel County officials say they’re going to have to find ways to fully fund ambulance services, particularly in Pecos.

In the Nov. 2 election, 60 percent of voters rejected a proposed quarter-cent sales tax that would have helped pay for ambulance services and the launch of a central dispatch service.

The tax would have amounted to 25 cents for $100 in purchases.

Earlier this year, the County Commission voted to have the proposed tax put before voters. The tax would have applied throughout the county, including inside Las Vegas’ city limits.

City officials had reservations about the proposal, saying city residents would be paying a tax but not get much of a benefit.

County Manager Les Montoya said that because of a drop in indigent funds, the county needed to find another funding source to help with ambulance services.

He said the tax would have helped with the creation of a central dispatch center in Las Vegas. With such a system, area law enforcement agencies would have shared dispatch services, he said.

Other communities have joined their dispatch services, which creates efficiencies, thus saving money.

The tax would have collected nearly $400,000 a year, Montoya said.