With San Juan County voters having approved a 1 percent sales tax to fund emergency services, the Silverton San Juan Volunteer Fire Department and Silverton Ambulance Service are lining up to get their share of an estimated $136,000 a year the tax will generate.
County Administrator Willie Tookey noted at a budget hearing last week that the county has “penciled in” $100,000 for the ambulance service and $15,000 to help finance a new building for the fire department’s newly acquired ladder truck.
Meanwhile, the county has budgeted its normal annual appropriation of $91,400 for the ambulance service and $18,000 for the fire department, with the town of Silverton picking up half those costs.
County voters approved the 1 percent sales tax Nov. 6 by a vote of 302 to 196, a 61 percent to 39- percent margin.
Ambulance service officials said they need to provide a paid staff and better compensation for volunteers to maintain current service levels. And fire officials pointed to needs of their own, including a building to house the new ladder truck.
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