ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The new tax measure on the ballot for Election Day in St. Charles County is raising questions for many.
Several viewers questioned why the St. Charles County Ambulance District is seeking another tax increase when it already got a big one in 2018.
The past tax measure raised a total of $75 million. It allowed the Ambulance District to build its $35 million headquarters in St. Peters, buy new equipment like ambulances, and build new bases.
The Central County Fire District is separate from the ambulance district. They also have a measure on the ballot.
The funds could not be used for personnel costs, which is the problem the district has now, a shortage of workers.
The new ballot measure would raise $7.6 million. The money would allow a pay increase for the current staff of about 250 workers, and it also would attract new workers.
Chief Kelly Cope for the St. Charles County Ambulance District said he is about 10 paramedics short now. It means the other workers often must do forced overtime.
“Yes, we are definitely shorthanded now. We just went through a hiring process to try to get numbers caught up to where they need to be,” he said. “We are probably looking in the neighborhood of 10 that we need to hire to be fully staffed. We don’t have the luxury of saying ‘Sorry, we’re closed tonight after 7, or we don’t have the ability to serve you at this time because we don’t have the staff.’ That’s just not an option.”