Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

January 16, 2013

Santo ESD issue bogged down

Emergency services boundaries sticking point in district creation


Mineral Wells Index

— By CHRIS AGEE

A public hearing held during Monday's Palo Pinto County Commissioner's Court meeting served as a forum to hash out disagreements over the proposed formation of the county's second Emergency Services District.

The issue was first presented to commissioners Dec. 26 by members of Santo EMS, who said the sales tax-funded district would provide for better service to the area.

Members of Tri-City EMS, however, disputed the inclusion of Dunn Drive in the new district's map, arguing they traditionally served that area.

Tri-City EMS Chairman Milo Moffitt said Monday he was unaware of the plan until recently and said his all-volunteer crew depends on donations, including those from Dunn Drive residents.

"We should have been in on this a long time ago," he said.

Moffitt said he has no problem with Santo forming an ESD, though he wants to see its boundaries reflect traditional response areas.

"If you let people start moving boundaries, what's going to happen when Graford wants an ESD?" he asked.

Santo EMS President Brian Gordon explained boundaries would be negotiable after the ESD is formed and engaged in some discussion with Moffitt concerning the details of that process.

He said Tri-City could contract with the ESD to cover Dunn Drive, allowing the agency to receive a portion of the district's funding.

County Judge David Nicklas expressed concern over taking action on an issue still mired in disagreement.

"I don't think we're going to resolve it today," he said, explaining the issue will be discussed again when boundary disputes are resolved.