School mill levies, hospital project, ambulance district get thumbs-up

by Gail Binkly | December 3, 2015 8:52 pm

Voters in Montezuma and Dolores counties were generally in a generous mood when they cast their ballots for the Nov. 3 election. They passed measures to grant mill-levy increases in two school districts, fund a hospital expansion and form an ambulance district. In the last case, however, they didn’t provide actual monies for the district.

Here is a roundup of local questions:

The vote was 3,679 to 2,592, 59 percent to 41 percent.

The vote was 2,708 to 1,729 (61 to 39 percent).

The vote was 823 to 437, or about 65 to 35 percent.

The measure passed 448 to 340, or 57 to 43 percent.

In Montezuma County, the measure passed 4,344 votes to 1,934 (69 to 31 percent). In Dolores County, it passed 506 votes to 263, or 66 percent to 34. Statewide, it garnered about 69 percent of the vote.

“What it says is voters like the idea of the organized ambulance district, they just didn’t like the funding plan,” said Floyd Smith, an attorney who worked for the organizers and prepared the district service plan.

The district now will be formally organized through a filing in District Court and a subsequent court decree, Smith said. A board will be elected and the district will carry out its functions.

However, he said, “they will just have to find funding sources,” such as grants or reimbursement by users.

“The glass is either half full or half empty,” Smith said.

“It’s not a total loss and not totally unheard of.” He said the Durango Fire Protection District in La Plata County was created by voters in 2006, but they twice rejected a mill levy to fund it before approving a plan involving a contract with the city.

Smith said the new ambulance district will now have to work with the current nonprofit corporation that provides ambulance services in Dolores County to coordinate how services will be provided.

“It will be up to their board and the board of the district how best to move forward and provide whatever level of service they can,” Smith said.

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