Scaled-Back EMS Levy on Ballot

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Scaled-Back EMS Levy on Ballot

Posted: 07/20/2022

(c)2022 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)

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July 20, 2022 by Ben Conley, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Commission on Wednesday approved ballot access for a scaled back version of the excess levy in support of Mon EMS.

As previously reported, Mon EMS Executive Director Forest Weyen presented a levy document in late June that, if passed with a 60% majority, would have generated $21,011,859 over four years and included a 5% increase in rates for years two, three and four.

Commissioner Sean Sikora said the “less aggressive” version approved Wednesday came about after some “constructive feedback” from the commission.

If passed, it would generate $17,888,598 over four years, including $4,404,241 in the first year and an annual increase of just under 1%.

In year one, the levy would add an additional 4.66 cents on every $100 of assessed value of Class II property (owner occupied) and 9.32 cents for every $100 of Class III/IV (rental). Those rates would increase to 4.70/9.40; 4.76/9.52 and 4.80/9.60 in years two, three and four.

On a number of occasions, Weyen has explained EMS services across West Virginia and the country are facing a funding crisis.

In Monongalia County, Star City VFD’s dedicated ambulance service closed its doors earlier this year due to financial constraints.

Mon EMS, formed in a 2019 merger of EMS services provided by Mon Health and WVU Medicine, has been shielded to some degree as the two hospital systems have heavily subsidized the service, providing $4.6 million of a $12.3 million budget.

Sikora said the health systems will continue to provide financial support, as will the county, providing at least $1 million in the current fiscal year.

Joe Statler, R-Monongalia, chairs the West Virginia House of Delegates Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services.

He said he’s hopeful the county’s voters will see the value in supporting emergency services when they go to the polls in November.

“I’m supporting that heavily,” Statler said of the EMS levy. “I see what the problems are statewide. People believe we’ve got a golden spoon in our mouth up here in Monongalia County and we don’t have any needs. That’s far from the truth.”

If approved, the levy would take effect July 1, 2023.

In other news from Wednesday’s meeting, Monongalia County Tax Deputy Kelly Palmer said tax bills have yet to be mailed due to a delay in the printing process.

County residents can check their bill amounts online at or by calling the tax office at 304-291-7244.