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Ambulance, Crawford tax questions on ballot

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The Town of Crawford and the Delta County Ambulance District will again ask voters to approve a mill levy increase after seeing those measures narrowly defeated in the 2016 general election.

Those two issues will be the only local questions on the November 2017 ballot.

Three school board seats were also to be filled in the November election, but just three candidates filed petitions for the three seats. A resolution to cancel the election is on the agenda for the Sept. 21 school board meeting.

Ron Germann is unopposed for District 1, which is Delta west; Jan Tuin is unopposed for District V, the Paonia-Crawford area; and Richard Hypio is unopposed for District IV, Hotchkiss area and north and east of Cedaredge. All three will be sworn into office in November 2017.

Crawford voters will again be asked to approve a five-mill levy increase, the same question that was defeated by nine votes in 2016. The ballot question specifies taxes are to be used for town roads, town hall and other structures, vehicle maintenance and for a reserve fund.

Previously, Mayor Wanda Gofforth said the increase is necessary due to losses in revenue from mineral and severance taxes.

Crawford's current mill levy of 2.420 mills is the lowest in Delta County. The increase would bring the mills up to previous levels, which were gradually reduced due to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, said Gofforth. The money will be used "to keep the town running."

A mill levy increase of 3.250 mills is being proposed to the Delta-Cedaredge voters who live in the Delta County Ambulance District.

A 2016 question asking voters to approve a 2.5 mill levy increase failed 6,163 to 5,388.

The ballot question explains that in 2018, the tax increase would amount to additional property tax of $23.40 for a residence worth $100,000.

The funds would sustain emergency medical services at current levels and offset budget shortfalls which have caused the district to deplete its reserves over the past four years. Budget shortfalls are being blamed on declining reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid.

Rene Loy Maas, chief deputy county clerk, said ballots will be mailed the week of Oct. 16. Voter service and polling center will open at the Delta County Courthouse Oct. 31 and at the North Fork Annex Nov. 23. Twenty-four hour dropoff locations are provided at the courthouse, North Fork Annex and Cedaredge Library, and will be made available directly after ballots are available. There will also be a box at the Crawford Town Hall for the Crawford residents during business hours and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day.

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Crawford, Delta County Ambulance District, election, mill levy
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