LCS:Despite petition ESD 4 will not be on ballot
The Palo Pinto Commissioner’s Court voted on Aug. 13 not to place the creation of Emergency Service District 4 on the 2018 ballot, despite 280 people signing a petition for its creation.
An Emergency Service District is a political subdivision, like a school district or hospital district, which is formed to provide emergency services like fire or medical care to a community. Palo Pinto County currently has two ESDs and ESD 1 currently provides services to Possum Kingdom East. Erin Humphries, of the Possum Kingdom ESD 4 Political Action Committee, said they wanted to form ESD 4 solely to provide emergency medical services to Possum Kingdom East.
The Commissioner’s denied the creation of ESD 4 because an election was held in 2015 for the creation of ESD 4 which failed, and the power and authority are in place with ESD 1 per the statement of services which they issued on July 30, 2018 which was just two weeks before the set public hearing at Commissioner’s Court.
“The reason we feel like it failed (in 2015) because it was really hasty, we were rushed to get it on the ballot and people did not know what they were voting for,” Humphries said. “On top of that there were some murmurs across the county this would raise taxes unnecessarily or in a way that would not benefit the home owners.”
The PAC member said they are open to working with ESD 1 to provide better coverage to to the citizens of Possum Kingdom.
“Now let me be clear that those of us that want to form ESD 4 have never had any issue at all with working with another ESD,” Humphries said. “It is more then fathomable, there are several in Parker County that all work together, we want to cooperate, we just want to be able to provide our own services.”
Lynn Reasoner, ESD 1 President, when approached about working with ESD 4 PAC claimed the PAC and PK EAST EMS has been the one’s not working with them.
“We have been trying to work with them for the last 3 or 4 years and they haven’t been working with us, they’ve been fighting against us and not working with us,” Reasoner said. “3 or 4 years ago they were originally involved in it and meetings and they quit being. They were asked for a proposal, way before we went out for proposals and they declined to give us one.”
Reasoner said he is still open to working with PAC however and the board is currently working on an initiative to allow any volunteer department to become first responders to 911 calls however due to a contract with Sacred Cross the responders would not be allowed to transport people to the hospital. Reasoner said the ESD and Sacred Cross would also pay for the training an equipment necessary to become a first responder.
Reasoner said the three ambulances are currently stationed in Gordon, Graford and Possum Kingdom East. He said the ambulances average time out the door is about 58 seconds and response time average is 12 to 13 minutes.
Humphries said the PAC is not giving up on ESD 4 and they are currently focused on educating citizens, exploring collaboration with ESD 1 but said they are a complicated entity and they are encouraging supporters to attend ESD 1 meetings to encourage transparency from them. Reasoner said ESD 1 does not have regular scheduled meetings due to board members who work shift jobs. ESD 1 is currently working on creating a website and their next meeting is Sept. 5 at Palo Pinto Courthouse.
To read the whole story get Sept. 5 edition of the Lake Country Sun inside The Graham Leader. The Lake Country Sun will now run weekly inside The Graham Leader in the mid-week publication. The Sun will no longer be printed as a separate publication that is placed inside The Graham Leader, but will now return to the format where it will be one page of news and events from Possum Kingdom Lake and the surrounding areas. For any questions about the change contact The Graham Leader at 940-549-7800.