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Alpena voters asked to support expanded ambulance millage

Submitted by on February 28, 2020 – 12:56 amNo Comment

Another millage request will be put before Alpena County voters in August, when an ambulance millage is expanded to include funding for five additional items.

The ambulance millage has passed overwhelmingly since 1981, but voters will have more to think about this time when the request moves from .972 mills to 1.5 mills for four years.

City and county officials say one mill will restore the ambulance millage to its original level, after slowly being reduced over the years due to the Headlee rollback. The funding would pay for continued advanced life support (ALS) response services.

The remaining half-mill would help pay for higher costs of ambulances, 911 services, restoration of first responder reimbursements to townships, training and supplies.

Mark Hall is the Emergency Services Coordinator and 911 Director for the County. He says 911 is funded solely by a surcharge on all cell phones and land lines that has slowly risen over the years to $3 per line, the maximum allowable amount. Hall says 911 funding is being depleted by new equipment and technology needed to properly protect citizens.

The Ambulance and Emergency Services System proposal is expected to be on the August 4 Primary ballot. The ballot language is currently under legal review.