JAY – The Town of Jay’s proposed budget for next year is up almost 5 percent so AuSable Forks Ambulance Service can hire paid personnel.
The proposed increase to the ambulance contract would hike the town tax levy by 4.82 percent in 2013.
Without the increase, the amount to be raised by taxes would increase only 1.5 percent.
The ambulance squad wants to hire paid emergency-medical technicians to handle hours when volunteer coverage is sparse, which would increase the town budget by $85,351.
The Jay Town Council was presented with a budget with both options and will have to decide which to pass, Supervisor Randy Douglas said.
The public hearing on the tentative budget is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the town meeting room at the Jay Community Center in AuSable Forks.
A special Town Council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. to vote on the spending plan.
Jay and Black Brook, the other town in the ambulance service area, held a combined public-information session in October to take input on the proposal.
“Numerous residents from Jay and Black Brook were in attendance, to express their feelings in favor or opposed to the proposed AuSable Forks Ambulance contract increase,” Douglas said in a press release.
“The increase would allow the ambulance squad to provide 24/7 coverage, which seems to be in demand. However, this increase will affect both towns’ 2013 budgets.”
In order to accept the budget that includes the ambulance contract increase, the town held a public hearing Nov. 8 to authorize the town to override the state tax cap, if needed.
“Supervisor Douglas asked that I prepare two preliminary budget options for our town board to discuss at the public hearing,” Supervisor’s Clerk/Budget Officer Susan Richards said in the release.
“Option 1 includes the proposed increase of $85,351 to the ambulance contract, and Option 2 is without the increase, remaining the same as last year.”