NEW BERLIN – Residents of New Berlin and Columbus swarmed their respective town halls Monday night to discuss the upcoming Jan. 24 vote to form separate ambulance districts.
The proposal on the referendum Jan. 24 would create two separate tax districts, one in each town, which would dictate a separate tax line specifically dedicated to financing emergency management and ambulance services.
In New Berlin, Supervisor Ross Iannello, along with Town Clerk Mary Brown and the town council, responded to questions from the nearly 40 people present. The Columbus meeting also drew a large crowd, more than 50 altogether, who attended in order to have their questions fielded by Supervisor Tom Grace, the town board and Jim Morris of the New York State Regional EMS office.
Confusion has arisen within the two towns as to the exact purpose of the formation of the tax districts. This is due, in part, to the recent formation of the Unadilla Valley Ambulance Corp., an ambulance service run by a not-for-profit company which would provide service to both New Berlin and Columbus.
The UVAC was formed by members of an advisory board originally created in order to determine a way to provide ambulance care to the above mentioned towns, as well as the village of New Berlin.