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Pflugerville Rejects Overlay First Responder Tax District
The Pflugerville Firefighters Association says they're response time is not meeting national standards more than 40 percent of the time. That's why they wanted voters to decide whether to create an additional taxing entity over the existing geographic area known as ESD 2, which includes the City of Pflugerville and areas of North Austin. The money would pay for more equipment and personnel. Other cities within ESD 2 are letting their residents vote on the issue -- but not Pflugerville.
"The citizens did vote, they elected six people to get down in the weeds and figure all the details out, so they don't have to do that and these six people have made the decision for the last month and a half," said Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Colman
Coleman doesn't think an overlay district is fair because residents would be paying for services they already receive.
But what happens to emergency medical service now? The City of Pflugerville is right in the middle of ESD 2. If the areas outside city limits approve the overlay district they would pay the additional tax and the City of Pflugerville would have to provide their own emergency medical service.
Coleman says they can do it for less money. "Based on our projections at this point, we feel like there are ways for us to provide first responder services less expensive than ten cents per hundred dollars per evaluation of each person's house," he says.
In response, Travis County ESD 2 Fire Chief Ron Moellenberg released the following statement,
"We will continue on our path in best serving the needs of the community and also explore other options."
By Lydia Pantazes