“I can’t give you a motion,” was the initial response of Glacier County Commissioner John Overcast when Vice Chairman Tom McKay asked for a motion to put a “perpetual” $1 million EMS Operating Mill Levy on the ballot on June 2. “I really feel as big a deal as this is, Chairman DesRosier should be here helping us out,” said Overcast at the Commissioners’ March 5 meeting.
After listening to public comment, Overcast, voicing his support for the EMS, made a motion to put a two-year $1 million EMS operational levy on the Primary Election ballot.
If approved by voters, the annual tax increase for the EMS Operational Levy will be $48.89 for the owner of a home valued at $100,000 and $97.79 for a $200,000 home.
Cherie Taylor, Northern Rockies Medical Center Chief Executive Officer, questioned the Commissioners why they didn’t consider her earlier suggestion of asking voters for a special levy for two years.
McKay responded the Commissioners discussed it “individually” and “determined perpetual.”
Taylor again asked McKay and Overcast to consider a two-year levy and holding off until the General Election to “give us time to get out to the public and get them the information…It’s highly important.”
Taylor continued “I’m concerned the Primary Election isn’t time enough to educate the public,” she said. “A perpetual levy will never make it. I am willing to move heaven and earth, but I can’t get a perpetual levy through,” she stressed.
“In my opinion, the people of Glacier County are leery of the way we do our finances,” said Overcast. “They’re nervous about money being given to the proper account.”
Taylor said a two-year levy would also provide time for state and federal legislation and other options to be worked on. “It would be good and provide time for us to figure out a solution.”
On the issues of the Public Safety and EMS Building special levies, Overcast failed to make a motion when asked by McKay. Each one failed for lack of a motion to approve it.