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Holly Trustees OK Letter of Support Favoring Ballot for Ambulance Funding Tax

 

Prowers County Voters will decide on a quarter percent sales and use tax this November to provide funding for ambulance service to area residents. The Prowers County Commissioners met with the Holly Trustees during their monthly meeting, Wednesday, August 1st to provide answers to questions from the Trustees regarding use of the funds for their fire and ambulance district.

Commissioner Chairman, Ron Cook, explained that if the ballot question is approved, approximately $400,000 a year could be generated to pay for ambulance services throughout Prowers County and of that, $80,000 or 20% would be allocated to the Holly Fire and Ambulance District each year. A three person administrative board would be created with a representative from Lamar, Holly and the commissioners.  Trustee Larry Sitts asked several questions pertaining to what leeway the Holly District would have in using the funds and what leverage Holly’s representative would have on that board to securing funding for use in the Holly District.

Cook replied that funding would be used specifically for ambulance oriented needs and not the fire department, other than that, Holly could spend the funding as they saw fit. Lamar, he said, would receive 60% of the annual funding and a contingency fund would control the remaining 20% or $80,000 of the tax revenues.  “If there’s any money left over from the end of the year of that $80,000, it stays with Holly,” Cook explained. Following some additional discussion, the Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the letter of support.

The Trustees tabled action on the purchase of a replacement garbage truck priced at approximately $95,000. The cost will be financed through a bank loan, but the Trustees had some additional questions regarding the cost and some related equipment on the vehicle.

Elaine Anderson, Holly Librarian and Cheryl Roup, Library Board member, requested administrative financial assistance from the Trustees in the form of a liaison member. The library representatives explained their need for some guidance on required reports for state and grant funding.  As they had mentioned in the past, operational and payroll funds are limited and they’ve entered a ‘Catch 22’ phase in which the library has to stay open at least 20 hours a week to be designated a community public library, but they haven’t the funding to pay fully employees for those hours due to increases in the state minimum wage.

The Trustees approved a letter of agreement for one year with the City of Lamar for stray dog services for Holly. The town will pay the Lamar Animal Shelter for care of stray dogs delivered to the shelter by Holly when space is available.  The fee will be $20 per dog and the town will be billed each month for any services.  If the dog is not claimed within five days, the animal becomes Lamar’s property and can be adopted to a new owner.

The annual agreement for the town’s financial audit with CPA Amanda Brown was approved for another year, cost of services amounts to $6,000 including the solid waste disposal site audit. The license for Trailside Liquor was also approved.  The next Trustees regular meeting will be Wednesday, September 5th.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of HollyConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportation

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