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The Red Lodge-RobertsAmbulance District is looking to change how service is funded



Red Lodge, Montana – Voters in Carbon County are completing their mail-in ballots in preparation for the September 12 special election for 2023.

The Mill Levy for the Red Lodge-Roberts Ambulance District is one of the initiatives up for vote.

The Ambulance District’s existing fee of $69.00 would be replaced by a tax of 22 mills under this mill levy.

Tom Kuntz, the fire chief of the Red Lodge Fire Rescue, stated that although the district’s flat charge was established in 2010, it is regrettably insufficient to support the Ambulance District’s standard of care and pay for emergency services for the county.

He stated that the Ambulance District is in charge of a third of Carbon County and that 700 calls for service were received last year; the only other option would be to increase the fee.

To prevent this, Kuntz stated that the new change will be based on a person’s home’s value.

“With this approach at 22 mills a majority of homeowners will not see a significant increase in the amount of tax that they pay and we anticipate that folks will pay about $100 per home to be able to use EMS services.” Said Tom

According to Kuntz, the district attempted for years to avoid raising taxes or fees, but the cost of services is too high to bear on its own.

“Being able to provide high-quality emergency services is really important to us and it’s really important to our community and we are blessed to have an amazing group of volunteers that help provide that level of service and that group needs support for our community, some of that is financial support because we need to be able to do what we do on a daily basis, we do it 24 hours a day…7 days a week.”

If the initiative passes, it will take effect in 2024. Ballots must be delivered to the election office by Tuesday, September 12 in order to be tallied.

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