SCASD announces board members

by Josh McDonald
Staff Reporter | July 28, 2020 11:24 AM

WALLACE — Last week the Shoshone Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met with the responsibility of appointing members to the newly created Shoshone County Ambulance Service District.

After requesting that the public send them nominations earlier this month, the BOCC had a solid list of names to consider for the group that will effectively usher in a new era of EMS service in Shoshone County.

After making sure they crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s with the county’s legal team, the BOCC determined that a five-person board would be sufficient for governing the new entity.

Along with the five positions, two alternates were selected as well.

Discussion on the board terms were three positions at four-year terms, two positions at two-year terms, and the alternates at two-year terms, as well as appointing one of the members to chairman.

The inaugural SCASD board will consist of Bruce Van Broeke, Chairman (four-year term), Jerry Brantz (four-year term), Frank Gabriel (four-year term), Jim Shields (two-year term), Mac Pooler (two-year term), Kjell Truesdell (two-year alternate) and Jacques Lemieux (two-year alternate).

The SCASD will fill the void formerly occupied by the Shoshone County EMS Corp. as it pertains to handling the county’s EMS programs and contracts, fiscal accountability, as well as the operations and oversight of the district.

The BOCC passed a resolution late last month to officially create the district after the EMS Corp. announced their intentions to shut down their operations at the end of May.

The BOCC was able to retain the services of the EMS Corp. until the end of the 2020 fiscal year (September), but at an increased monthly cost.

“Passing the resolution to create the Shoshone County Ambulance Service District is viewed as a logical and positive step toward,” said Mike Fitzgerald, BOCC chairman. “The step shifts the administration, decision making and accountability to a board that is solely dedicated to and focused on our community’s ambulance services. The transition from the county to the Ambulance Services District will require some heavy lifting, involving much work such as transitioning administration, contracts, billings, collections, equipment and overall budgeting.”

It appears as though the new district will cost the taxpayers roughly $130,000 per year, but an official amount for the SCASD has not been officially set.

According to Idaho code, a new ambulance district can levy up to 0.02% from the population however, as proposed, the amount to be taxed will be what is necessary to maintain the current level of service.

The $130,000 was nearly the amount that was being levied for a few years ago before the BOCC began scaling back the amount they were annually levying for EMS services, including this year’s budget amount of $86,600, but after extending the Shoshone County EMS Corp.’s services for an extra $10,000 a month for four months, they’ll have dedicated $126,600 toward EMS services for the 2020 fiscal year.

The first official meeting of the Shoshone County Ambulance Service District is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Shoshone County Courthouse, in the District Court Room, located on the third Floor.