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Kalispell looks at funding for EMS

By Adam Caira, Photographer/Reporter, acaira@kcfw.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 05:18:55 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 10:50:27 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Kalispell is taking a look at how the city will fund Emergency Medical Services, or EMS, in the future. 

One proposal favored by city council would give Kalispell residents a chance to vote on a mill levy that would continue to fund EMS and even allow for improved services in the city.

Currently Kalispell's city ambulance service gets a large part of its funding from fees charged to people who use the service, and from a county levy. But that isn't enough to cover their operating costs, so the city of Kalispell has been subsidizing the program about $260,000 a year from the general fund.

That’s a problem because it has put pressure on other services like police and fire, that get their budget from the general fund.

"We identified that we'd take a look at that EMS fund and identify different options to look at our staffing, our call load, and try and identify what would be the best option in terms of how we're going to provide EMS services in the future," said Kalispell City Manager Doug Russell.

The plan is to draft a resolution so City Council can put the mill levy on the November ballot as part of the general election.