Letter: Emergency response for Town of Grant should be included in County budget
To the Editor:
Places of education and worship have been recent targets of violence in the U.S. Thankfully; emergency medical providers have helped to save lives where they have arrived in minutes.
Here in the Town of Grant we have an elementary school with 300 students and teachers, and two churches with hundreds of parishioners. And, within Kellner there are another 1,800 residents. If needed, these children and adults can all be reached within 4-5 minutes by our ambulance provider – United Emergency Medical Response (UEMR). The cost to Town of Grant residents is $41,000 per year. If this cost were to be included in the Portage County budget it would amount to 58 cents in taxes per county resident.
Last year, Town of Grant residents paid $63,000 in taxes to Portage County for the county ambulance service it neither contracts for nor uses. For eight long years we have pleaded with the Portage County Board of Supervisors to pay for our UEMR contract. But, the County Executive and a majority of the county board have said no. They would rather we pay for the county service that on its very best day takes 22 minutes to arrive at the north end of our municipality and up to 55 minutes to arrive at the south end.
Regardless of the outcome of the Portage County referendums on November 6th and the budget that will follow, our request will likely be omitted. By virtue of their continued actions, the County Executive and the majority of the County Board of Supervisors continue to tell our residents the same thing every year. They don’t care whether we live or die. They just don’t have 58 cents in their pockets.
Town of Grant