MALTA — On Nov. 2, Malta residents will vote on a referendum for a new Malta ambulance district to take effect in 2022.
An ambulance district would ensure a dedicated tax funds the town’s emergency services. Malta has been funding the ambulance services through annual appropriations from the town’s general fund to cover overhead costs (everything except pay for their EMTs and Paramedics). The new ambulance district would solidify funding that goes towards the EMS, rather than having to compete against other services (ex: public libraries) for town funding. Stillwater and many other Saratoga County EMS are funded through dedicated taxes from their district already.
Residents will be voting on a proposed budget of $470,000. If approved, the dedicated tax would be $0.175 per $1,000 of Taxable Assessed Value – approximately $43.68 per year for a typical single-family residence.
Malta-Stillwater EMS lists some of the reasons for establishing an ambulance district in an FAQ sheet linked here: www.maltaems.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Malta-Stillwater-EMS_FAQs_052121.pdf. One of the reasons being the need for EMS and critical emergency ambulance services increasing due to economic/population growth in the town and an aging population.
“People expect a service, and we want to be able to continue to provide that,” said Malta-Stillwater EMS Executive Director Scott Skinner. Skinner added that their current response time is 8-9 minutes. During the pandemic, Malta-Stillwater EMS was able to, and is still, providing telemedicine options, giving vaccines to the home bound, and transporting COVID patients to the ER.
Informational meetings for the community are being held ahead of the vote. The next meeting is on Oct. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Malta Community Center. Stay tuned to the Malta-Stillwater EMS Facebook page for updates on meeting dates, times, and locations at www.facebook.com/MaltaStillwaterEms.
Malta-Stillwater EMS is a non-profit agency that has been serving the community since 1961. The 16,000+ residents in the town of Malta, including the Village of Round Lake, will be eligible for and benefit from this new ambulance district.
“Saratoga County is very much made up of EMS districts,” said Skinner. “The days of volunteering in our area, state, and in America are decreasing significantly. There are few districts left that have volunteers.
Malta-Stillwater EMS has 2 volunteers that still ride the ambulance, and they are always looking for more volunteers or even part-time EMTs and Paramedics (must be certified). To fill out an application, visit their website at www.maltaems.org/volunteer-careers
ATTENTION MALTA VOTERS: Remember to flip your ballots over on Nov. 2. The new Malta ambulance district referendum will be on the back of your ballot.