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Letter to the Post: EMS, Rural Fire Need Your Sales Tax Vote

The current facilities occupied by Ellis County Rural Fire Department and the Ellis County Emergency Medical Services have reached beyond the intended capacity of their respective buildings. For the efficient operations of our agencies and the safety of the personnel that serve our citizens, we need the new proposed EMS/Rural Fire building to be built at 22nd Street and General Hays Road in Hays.

The question the voters need to answer is this: Does Ellis County pay for these projects with a sales tax or an increase in property taxes?

Five fire vehicles are in a small 3,040-square-foot building. We maneuver these trucks in and out with each fire call, depending on the size and scale of the fire call. One vehicle is parked outside at all times. Because of the confines of the building, there is very little room for the 16 firefighters to either get into gear or train. When one of our citizens experiences a fire, time is of the essence, and with the new facility we will be able to maximize our efficiency, which equals safety for you.

The current EMS building was fine with only 11 employees and four vehicles; however, with the current demands of providing pre-hospital care to the citizens of Ellis County, the building is unable accommodate the needs of 41 employees and nine vehicles. Currently, there is not adequate in-house space for our medical records and medical supplies. Medical supplies are stored in the bay area with the vehicles, which exposes them to diesel fumes and soot.

Training space is very limited, and training equipment is also stored off-site. Additionally, the current facility provides very little space for the personal privacy of those men and women working 24- hour shifts together.

This project is essential to the health and safety of Ellis County citizens. Together with the court- house and jail renovations, the total cost with interest is around $14.32 million. This sales tax, if passed, will sunset in five years or when the bonds are paid off, whichever comes first. If the tax sunsets before the bonds are fully paid off, the balance will be taken care of within the county budget.

The vote on May 14 lets the voters decide. Do you want to pay for these projects with a sales tax or an increase in property taxes?
If you would like to see either of these facilities, please contact either one of us and we will be happy to show them to you. We are certain if you do this, you will see how essential this new building is.

Dick Klaus, Ellis County Rural Fire director Kerry McCue, Ellis County EMS director

KSKOLLECTIONS
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  • Citizen

    My Truck has to sit outside all the time too, because i can’t afford a new garage right now. However I am saving up to build a new garage and one of these days my truck will be able to be stored inside. The county needs to do the same thing. The metal building they are using now seems to work just fine besides being to small. I am not sure why they need such an extravagant new building to park trucks in. Why do we have 4 times the number of ems personnel than we use to. Maybe the county needs to evaluate their efficiency.

  • taxed to death

    Funny that in the Commissioners pitch for this tax hike on this very site, they stated that some 10 years ago this problem was brought up. Now how does the Ellis County Commission totally ignore a problem this large for 10 years? Typical Ellis County/ City of Hays logic, we will deal with this sometime in the future then wait until we declare it a crisis then try and jam it down the throats of the citizens. You know I have to save up sometimes for years to pay for a big ticket item, because I don’t have the luxury of walking into a Bank and getting a loan any time I wish. Yet alone just push a tax on everyone else in the County to cover the incompetence of this Commission and all of the previous ones that couldn’t act on the information provided by the very Staffs of the Departments that they are elected to oversee and insure they have proper resources. Bewildering example of the total lack of leadership and financial planning on behalf of the Citizens of Ellis County by our lazy elected leaders.

  • Think About It

    Everyone needs to realize we don’t have a choice from the sounds of it your going to pay for it weather it be Sales Tax or Property Tax. I’m not excited for either one but at least if you vote for Sales Tax it won’t be just the residents of Ellis County responsible for the whole amount everyone from outside of Ellis County that comes here to shop, eat, etc. will help contribute.

  • BB

    LET IT COME. I WILL BE SHOPPING OUT OF TOWN LIKE I DID BEFORE.THE ONLY THING I WILL SEE MORE E-L VEHICLES IN SALINA, TOPEKA, WICHITA. HAYS IS NOTHING BUT A HIGH TAX CITY AND WALMART IS TAKING IT IN.

  • passin threw

    what a genius idea there bb. save that .005 sales tax by driving 180 miles to do it. you better get a big trailer so you can load up on enough supplies to make that worth while. very typical of obama’s economic ideals

    • BB

      WE LIKE TO GO OUT OF TOWN AND SHOP IF YOU DON’T THAT IS YOUR CHOICE. BIGGER STORES HAVE MORE VARIETY AND LESS SALES TAX.

      • passin threw

        ah so it’s not really the reason you stated. you’re making more sense as we go

  • http://hayspost.com Describe

    This just described the stations for Company #4 & #6 and about all the fire stations in Western Kansas.
    There is a lot to the South of Company #5, why not purchase that lot and add on the current building? Is that to simple and cost effective?

  • http://hayspost.com Responsible

    The County Commisioners, the County Admin and the 3 Department heads should be apologizing to everyone for letting this get so out of hand and not budgeting for something that was so forseeable. They bragged at the meeting about how they kept property taxes down but look what it got us. They come to us and expect us to suppost the huge $14 million project and they don’t have a dime in savings to go towards this project. They have known about this problem for at least 10 years. Why didn’t they gradually raise some funds for this………if they had a $5 million down payment to go towards this I would feel alot better about supporting this. As it stands its pretty tough to swollow.
    Swede comming to Ellis and threating to move Company #6 and EMS Station #2 to Hays if we don’t suppost this thing was a bit rediculous and I expected more from him…….dissapointing to say the least.