TRAVIS COUNTY ESD NO. 2/PFLUGERVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT INVITES RESIDENTS TO VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Chief Ron Moellenberg
512- 251-2801
[email protected]

 

 

TRAVIS COUNTY ESD NO. 2/PFLUGERVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT INVITES RESIDENTS TO VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING

 

PFLUGERVILLE, SEPT. 29, 2020 –Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 (The Pflugerville Fire Department) is inviting residents to a free virtual town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 15.

Participants are invited to sign up for the live streaming event at https://form.jotform.com/202704866556058 . On Oct. 15, registrants will be emailed a link to join the stream at 7 p.m.

ESD 2 commissioners and senior staff will discuss the challenges facing the Fire Department as it tries to keep up with the fast-paced growth in northeastern Travis County.

Projections show that ESD 2 will not have enough resources to continue providing enhanced emergency medical services, including advanced life support and ambulance transport, at its current levels.

By FY2024, the projections show, the ESD will deplete its reserves unless it finds an alternate revenue source or reduces the level of protection it provides now.

Senior fire department officials had identified four options to meet the financial crisis to continue providing enhanced emergency medical services. Officials considered, but rejected, the idea of integrating a for-profit ambulance service because of the significant risk of degradation of service that could affect health outcomes.

The available options include:

Option 1: Doing nothing and allowing services to deteriorate as the Fire Department cannot afford to add new stations and staff to keep up with growth, especially along and east of the burgeoning SH130 corridor. As a result, Fire Department staff and equipment will become strained, and the time it takes to respond to medical emergencies will increase.

Option 2: Eliminating ESD2 ambulance service within portions of the district on the assumption that Austin/Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) would return to serve in those areas. ESD 2 added ambulance units in 2017 with the original intent to augment Austin/Travis County EMS. The two ambulances that ATCEMS operated in the district were often diverted elsewhere in the county. After ATCEMS relocated its ambulances outside the district, ESD 2 now operates five ambulances around-the-clock.

Option 3: Seeking EMS funding from other governments.

Option 4: Working with a new ESD that would be created by voters. Under this scenario, the current ESD 2 would continue to provide fire protection as the Pflugerville Fire Department. The new ESD, contiguous with ESD 2, would fund EMS and ambulance service through a contract with ESD 2. A petition drive to create a new ESD has begun and collected more than 3,000 signatures.

If approved by voters, the new ESD would be limited to the constitutional maximum tax rate of 10 cents per $100 of property value. Projections show that In ESD 2, the 2020 average taxable value of properties with a homestead exemption is $263,209. If the new ESD is created, the owner of that average-value home could pay $263.21 a year (about $22 a month) at the maximum tax rate for EMS through the new ESD, including ambulance transport service.

Current projections show that the funds needed to continue enhanced emergency medical service, including advanced life support and ambulance transport, could be generated with an additional tax effort of 6.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. That level of taxation on the average taxable value of $263,209 would amount to $171.09 (less than $15 a month).

“The Pflugerville Fire Department is committed to providing the highest quality fire protection and emergency medical response,” Fire Chief Ron Moellenberg said. “We want to invite all residents to the Virtual Town Hall. We can inform residents about ESD 2’s options and hear from them how they’d like us to meet those challenges.”

 

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For more information, please visit www.pflugervillefire.org