NEW BERLIN – A permissive referendum regarding the creation of an ambulance tax district failed to pass in the towns of New Berlin and Columbus Tuesday.
Unofficial results show 30 for and 140 against in the Town of Columbus and 43 for and 283 against in the Town of New Berlin.
The vote came after months of debate and public meetings meant to disseminate information about the proposed tax district. Creation of the district would have created a separate tax line in the budget of each town for EMS services and require the town boards to ensure ambulance coverage by contracting with an ambulance service of their choosing.
However, concerns about changing the current process and giving the town board authority to choose an ambulance service brought opponents of the proposal to the polls in unusually high numbers. New Berlin Clerk Mary Brown confirmed that the referendum had attracted more voters than usual to the Town Hall.