The City Council includes Bastrop in the proposed ambulance district

The Bastrop City Council on Tuesday approved a plan from the proposed Bastrop County Emergency Services District #3 to include the city in its service area if Bastrop County voters approve the district’s creation in November.

If approved by voters, ESD #3 will provide ambulance service throughout the county. City Attorney Alan Bojorquez said emergency service districts are created by petitions signed by at least 100 property-owning voters. The Bastrop County Commissioners Court accepted the petition to create ESD #3 last month, and petitioners Preston McGrew and Caleb Peck sent a letter to the city of Bastrop, received on June 4, urging the city to consider its inclusion in the district.

The move comes as Bastrop County’s contract with Acadian Ambulance Service expires. According to the meeting’s agenda packet, the city’s efforts to contract with Acadian have proven unsuccessful.

Bojorquez said emergency service districts can overlap if they don’t provide the same service. The other fire service districts in Bastrop County only provide firefighting services throughout the city of Elgin and much of unincorporated Bastrop County. The city of Bastrop pays for its own fire department, excluding that from any of the current emergency service districts.

Bojorquez said those districts can generate revenue through many sources, including property taxes, issuing bonds or having patients pay for their services. ESD #3 would levy a property tax of 10 cents per $100 valuation.

City Manager Sylvia Carrillo warned the City Council about the potential property tax burden the new district could place on city residents. But she also realized the lack of ambulance service in the county.

“We have a very, very, very large county,” Carrillo said. “I understand that there are facilities that need to be built. … I won’t even let my dad visit because he has a heart problem, and I’m afraid I can’t get an ambulance here in time.”

Carrillo and Council member Cynthia Meyer said voters should ultimately decide whether to go along with ESD #3 instead of the council potentially vetoing it before it’s on the ballot.

“Citizens are not provided for right now,” Meyer said. “Forty-five minutes to an hour response rate is not acceptable to anybody. We have to look out for the public. … Let’s let the voters decide. Let’s get it on the ballot. It’s your money. You can decide whether you want to spend it or not. “

Mayor Lyle Nelson said ESD #3 would be a public service governed by a county-appointed board of commissioners, unlike Acadian, a for-profit ambulance service.

New supplier of waste bins

Additionally, the City Council approved a contract with Texas Disposal Systems to provide solid waste, recycling and bulk pickup.

Assistant City Manager Andres Rosales said Texas Disposal Systems will continue the city’s current trash services at a slightly lower cost than the current provider. Texas Disposal Systems collects solid waste weekly, recycling bi-weekly, and residents can receive bulk pickup weekly, provided the waste is less than 4 cubic yards.

Jay Howard, a sales representative for Texas Disposal Systems, said the company offers an app called Waste Wizard that reminds customers to pick up trash and has information on whether materials can be recycled.

“We take this opportunity to serve Bastrop very seriously,” said Adam Gregory, vice president of Texas Disposal Systems. “My HR staff told me earlier that we currently have 29 TDS employees living in the city of Bastrop. We are already a part of the community, but we hope to have the opportunity to become a bigger part of the community.”

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