The city of Durand is asking voters to consider renewal of its ambulance millage during the Tuesday, March 10 election this year. For the past several years, the city has been contracting ambulance services to provide residents of Durand with localized EMT response services. The most recent contract for those services is set to expire in 2020. Services would again be bid out following the results of the March election.
As part of the renewal request, the city is also asking voters to consider expanding the scope to include services from Durand Fire Department. Durand City Manager Colleen O’Toole notes, “The Durand Fire Department is a major part of our first responder services. Our firefighters are often first on scene and quick to assist our ambulance service provider during medical emergencies. Including fire services in the existing millage will allow the city to continue to support the role the fire department plays in these activities and improve existing training and equipment available to our firefighters.”
The current millage rate for ambulance services is 1.35 mills. The renewal language proposes a rate of 1.65 mills, or $1.65 per every $1,000 of taxable value. The 0.30 mill increase means that the average Durand homeowner would expect to pay about $13.50 more per year in taxes. If approved, the new millage rate would take effect in 2021.
The Durand Fire Department has been serving the community as a volunteer organization since 1901. Replacement of the city’s primary pumper, Engine 602, would be a top priority if the millage is approved.
Durand Fire Chief Nick Spaniola explains, “Engine 602 has been in service since 1997, which makes it 23 years old. This truck was set up to be ready for any type of emergency call. We had a good run with Engine 602, but we are starting to experience minor performance issues, which could lead to downtime. The city would like to purchase a new truck exactly like 602 so we can keep everyone in the city as safe as possible.”