Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

NORTH TRAVIS COUNTY – The creation of Travis County Emergency Services District 17, or Prop A, was on the ballot for some voters in a portion of the unincorporated areas of Travis County on Saturday, May 1st. Preliminary results show voters passed the proposition by 74 % in favor of the new ESD.  Final results must still be canvassed by Travis County election officials.  The new ESD will provide dedicated funding for advanced life support and ambulance transport services for portions of northeast Travis County.  ESD 2, The Pflugerville Fire Department, envisions  providing these services through a contract with the new ESD.

The newly created ESD will be implemented over the next several months, and could provide funding as early as 2022.  A board of commissioners, who must be residents of the new ESD, will be appointed to oversee the new ESD finances and taxing authority.

About a year ago, ESD 2 began communicating with stakeholders about a forecasted financial shortfall in fiscal year 2024.  ESD2, which also provides fire/rescue services to approximately 140,000 residents, has been providing ALS and ambulances service out of its existing fire budget since 2017.  However, the increased population and service demand coupled with a tax growth limit put in place by recent legislation, has made the current funding model unable to support both  services.  Several options were considered by the ESD2 Board of Commissioners, and one of the potential solutions was the creation of an overlay ESD to provide dedicated funding for ALS and ambulances services.

A petition with nearly 4,700 signatures was submitted to the Travis County Commissioners Court, who voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot.  The City of Pflugerville Mayor and Councilmembers chose not to allow their citizens within the city limits and ETJ to vote on the initiative.  Similarly, the City of Hutto Mayor and Councilmembers also chose not to allow its citizens within Hutto’s ETJ area in Travis County to vote on the initiative.  Consequently, these areas are  not a part of the new district.  ESD2 officials remain committed to communicating with the City of Pflugerville and the City of Hutto about the issue to ensure their residents continue to receive high quality and cost effective ALS and ambulance services.

“This has been a long time coming, but we have finally secured adequate funding to continue to provide high levels of emergency services to portions of Northeast Travis County” said Fire Chief Ron Moellenberg.  He added that “our community has always valued their fire and medical department, we exist solely to help them on their worst day.  We will continue to serve them to the best of our ability as we always have, because we care”.