Dear Editor: I have been contacted recently concerning the Republican questions on the ballot for the current election in Jackson County.
Question #6: Do you support a paid consolidated fire department as opposed to the 11 volunteer community fire departments we have now?
My research: A survey by the county manager found that consolidation would cost an additional $10 million per year with same level of service as Barrow county or $25 million with same level of service as Athens Clarke County. These estimates are based on expenditures per square mile of coverage.
These additional yearly cost are for going from a volunteer to a paid department. The volunteers gladly donate their time and energy in their local communities but would not volunteer to work for free in a department managed by the county government and politicians.
The Insurance Rating (ISO) would probably change causing the taxpayers to “also” pay more in property insurance.
Vote “YES” if you want to pay more taxes.
I vote “NO”
Question #4: Is the Ambulance Service (EMS) equipped to handle the growth in Jackson County?
The Jackson County Ambulance Service was recently recognized as the “#1 Outstanding Ambulance Service” in Georgia.
This is due to the training, response times, and service to the citizens by the entire EMS team. This includes planning for the future.
This team in cooperation with the Commissioners are determined to keep the standards high. This has been the goal from the creation of the very first station through to the seventh station. The EMS leadership is constantly analyzing databases (calls, location, response time, day calls, night calls, weekend or workweek calls, etc) to plan for the future.
Rest assured that “planning” has been and will continue to be current and ongoing.
I vote “Yes.”
Jackson County Board of Commissioners