Letter: In Focus column needs some explaining

October 2, 2013 

The Sept. 22 In Focus column by Bruce LePage regarding the upcoming Franklin County Fire District No. 3 levy vote painted an incomplete picture of Pasco's recent changes in ambulance service charges.

The column asserted that the council decision to increase the charge for ambulance services to the district "defies logic." That conclusion fails to recognize the primary reason for the increase: fairness.

In 2011, the city's general fund subsidized the ambulance fund by nearly $900,000. In other words, city property taxes were used to help provide ambulance services for everyone served by Pasco ambulances, including residents of the fire district. Even after raising the monthly fee paid by city households, the general fund still subsidized the ambulance fund in 2012 by $400,000. City taxpayers, not fire district residents, are paying more to keep the ambulance service running. The city council recognized this inequity and simply asked the fire district to pay its fair share of the cost.

The city and fire district have a long history of working together. The city stands by its offer to provide the highest quality ambulance service to the district for a price that is fair to city taxpayers as well as the district.

REBECCA FRANCIK, Pasco mayor pro-tem

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