Council questions county’s EMS funding request
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Pearsall city councilors voted unanimously to table a decision on providing funding for county-wide emergency medical services last week.
Elected officials learned Tuesday, September 13, that the Frio County government had contacted the city to request $75,000 in funding for emergency medical services.
“This is not a budgeted item for this fiscal year,” Pearsall City Manager Fred Reyes said. “To my knowledge the county has entered a new agreement with a new EMS provider.”
Reyes said he is asking councilors for permission to negotiate terms because he has not seen a contract for the ambulance services.
According to the city manager, the county has asked the cities of Pearsall and Dilley and the Pearsall Independent School District for monies to help offset the cost of the contract. Reyes noted that, to his knowledge, the Dilley school district was not included.
Councilor Davina Rodriguez asked why the county was asking the city for a $75,000 contribution while $25,000 was being requested from the school district.
No amount, according to Reyes, was listed for the city of Dilley.
“Why are we getting a higher amount?” the councilor asked. “The county and the school, their taxes are a whole different situation. The taxes on the county, they will get their money because they get it from all three entities. The city of Pearsall does not get taxes if people do not pay their home taxes and we do not always get sales taxes. I do not know how they came up with seventy-five thousand verses twenty-five thousand.”
Reyes agreed with councilors’ decision to table the item and allow him time to gather additional information from county officials.
“I really do not know all the details,” the city manager said. “We were paying one hundred and fifty thousand dollars but I believe that stopped two or three years ago.”
In 2016, councilors unanimously voted to opt out of the emergency medical services contract with the county. Records filed at City Hall show the city was paying $176,400 for its portion of the contract, although citizens pay a tax to the county for the service.