reduction has hurt NRAD finances
district will seek 15 cent levy increase
Proponents say a quality, district-wide ambulance service
may be in question, if an issue on the April ballot is
not supported by residents serviced by the Northland Regional
Ambulance District (NRAD).
NRAD, which services the communities of Platte City,
Smithville, Camden Point, Dearborn and the surrounding
unincorporated area, is asking voters to approve a 15
cent levy increase this spring. The question must pass
by a simple majority.
The board of directors was hoping they wouldnt
have to go to taxpayers, but unfortunately thats
what its come down to, said NRAD interim director
We havent had to ask for a tax increase since
the district was formed on Sept. 1, 1994. However, the
growth of the area has increased significantly and our
need has risen.
Actually, the district asked voters for a 10 cent tax
levy increase last August. The issue was defeated by a
count of 709 opposed to only 443 in favor.
Currently the districts levy is at .2886 per $100
of assessed valuation. If the proposed question is passed
by voters in April, NRADs new levy will be established
at .4366 per $100 of assessed valuation.
According to Coons, the board considered several factors
before deciding on the 15 cent levy question.
We looked at what the cost trends have become and
we feel that (a 15 cent increase) will hold us for several
years and that we wont have to go back to taxpayers
in the next few years to ask for more, he said.
The Hancock Amendment limits our tax base growth
to two percent and rolls our tax levy back. When we first
started, our levy was .30 cents per $100, now were
Coons added: Everythings gone up. The cost
of medical supplies, the cost of fuel and our demand has
gone up. The federal government has cut Medicare reimbursement
and state government has cut Medicaid reimbursementall
that filters down to us.
Charlene Bruce, president of the board of directors for
NRAD, agreed with Coons.
This is the last thing the board wanted to do and
we felt like we had done everthing we could do to try
and not do this. We dont think we could have cut
services anymore than what we already have, Bruce
With the voters' approval at the polls in April, Coons
said it will help ensure NRADs service to the citizens
of Platte County.
It will give our budget a little boost to improve
services and allow us to continue to get to everyone in
a timely manner, he said. A lot of people
dont think about an ambulance until they need it.
Were trying to make them aware of the need for that
service before the need arises to dial 9-1-1.