MILTON-FREEWATER — Voters may have a say in November on a possible change in their ambulance service district and whether their property taxes will increase.

The Milton-Freewater City Council might consider a resolution Monday night that would disband the current ambulance district, create a new one, and tax $1.40 per $1,000 of assessed land value. If Council members approve the resolution, it will go to the Umatilla County commissioners Aug. 16 for their second hearing on the matter. If commissioners also vote “yes,” the measure will go to voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The current ambulance service rate of $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed land value was passed by voters in November 2011.

But ambulance district leaders have said that rate doesn’t provide enough money for its depleted fleet of vehicles and other items.

The current tax rate amount provided about $160,000 last year, according to Dan Kilmer, ambulance board chairman. The proposed tax rate would provide about $923,000, he said, which is much needed as the district is operating in the red.

All three items — disbanding, creating a new district, and increasing the tax rate — must be approved by voters on the ballot, he said, for the rate to change. If just one of them doesn’t pass, then the current rate will remain in place.

Those interested in voicing their opinion on the proposal can go to the Council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Albee Room of the Milton-Freewater Public Library, 8 S.W. Eighth Ave., Milton-Freewater.

The Umatilla County commissioners meeting will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, also in the library’s Albee Room.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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