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Roseville places ambulance millage renewal on March ballot

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 1, 2015

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ROSEVILLE — The Roseville City Council voted 6-0 Nov. 24 to place a millage renewal on the March 8 presidential primary ballot for its advanced life support system.

The millage amount is 0.35 mills and would run from 2017 through 2037. According to City Attorney Tim Tomlinson, the original millage was passed 20 years ago and is set to expire next year. One mill is the equivalent of $1 per $1,000 of taxable value on a property.

“To be clear, this is your ambulances from the Fire Department,” Tomlinson said. “This is funded by this millage.”

The millage funds the equipment, maintenance and personnel training necessary to operate those advanced life support ambulances, according to Tomlinson.

Fire Chief Mike Holland said the advanced life support system has saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives since its inception 20 years ago.

For the first 20 minutes of patient care, the ambulances are capable of doing everything a hospital emergency room can, he said.

“That’s an incredible opportunity for us,” Holland said. “It doesn’t matter if you got hurt doing roofing on the top of the roof, if you’re at your place of business or in your living room — we can bring the emergency room to you, all for an incredibly small amount of money.”

The advantage over using ambulance services from another entity, such as a hospital, is that the city can use the same paramedic crews that go to the scene riding on fire trucks. This allows the city to send more paramedics to help someone out than a city that is only sending a fire truck and a private ambulance, Holland said.

“If you call an ambulance in, say, Troy, you will receive two individuals, maybe one EMT and a paramedic,” he said. “In Roseville, you’ll receive four or five paramedics on the scene to give you that care far quicker.”

Mayor Robert Taylor reiterated that no one’s taxes should be going up should the millage renewal pass; it would only maintain the current tax rates for residents of the city.

“Just to be clear, this is not a tax increase — this is a tax renewal,” Taylor said. “No one’s taxes are going up; we just want to maintain what we have.”

Holland said the Fire Department is analyzing what it would do if the millage were not renewed. The millage is a small part of the Fire

Department’s budget, he said, but its loss would require the department to make up the shortfall elsewhere in the budget.

“Right now we’re working on what that would be, so we can be sure to inform the citizens what things would potentially be lost,” Holland said. “It would certainly handicap our department and reduce down the level of service we currently give.”

Adding the millage to the ballot had to wait, Tomlinson said, until Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill allowing cities to put proposals on the primary ballot, something Snyder signed earlier in the day Nov. 24. As the deadline to get an item on the March 8 ballot is approaching, Tomlinson said the resolution would be sent to the Macomb County Clerk’s Office quickly following the approval.

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