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Winnebago Board to Discuss EMS Services

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday by first holding an American Rescue Plan meeting. This effort will be to discuss how funding from the plan is to be used and distributed. The meeting will begin at 8 am in the Supervisors Room of the Winnebago County Courthouse.

The board will review the current state of the pandemic in the county. The county learned that 26% of the tests taken turned up positive and so far, there are 93 cases. In the five-county area, (Winnebago, Kossuth, Hancock, Worth, and Cerro Gordo), Winnebago County has the highest percentage of positive cases. Cerro Gordo has the most cases with 441. No changes are expected to county medical policies.

Winnebago County Secondary Roads Engineer Scott Meinders will discuss the current state of secondary roads which includes projects and snow removal.

Area cities, community members, and the county have been in discussion about the possibility of merging Emergency Medical Services under a county umbrella. This would help the EMS programs in the various cities and across the county. According to Winnebago County District 1 Supervisor Terry Durby, these discussions are in the early phase.

Currently, there are a number of EMT and Paramedic staff shortages in all locations. Ambulance services in the county that are based in Buffalo Center, Lake Mills, and Forest City are stretched thin having to serve the county and on occasion, assist neighboring counties due to their shortages too.

If the concept were to come to fruition, the county would have to find sources to have to financially support it. This would include a surcharge of up to 75 cents per assessed valuation on county property taxes, a sales tax, or a combination of the two to alleviate the burden on county property taxpayers.

Prior to this, the board would hold public forums throughout the county and have several committees discussing viability before it would be enacted. There would also have to be a vote by the people before a surcharge or property tax change could be made.





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