Section X-9C

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Section X-9C: Emergency Medical Service Districts

 (a) The board of county commissioners, or boards if more than one
county is involved, may call a special election to determine
whether or not an ambulance service district shall be formed. An
election shall also be called by the board or boards involved upon
petition signed by not less than ten percent (10%) of the
registered voters of the area affected. Said area may embrace a
county, a part thereof, or more than one county or parts thereof,
and in the event the area covers only a part or parts of one or
more counties, the area must follow school district boundary lines.
All registered voters in such area shall be entitled to vote, as to
whether or not such district shall be formed, and at the same time
and in the same question authorize a tax levy not to exceed three
(3) mills for the purpose of providing funds for the purpose of
support, organization, operation and maintenance of district
ambulance services, known as emergency medical service districts
and hereinafter referred to as "districts." If the formation of the
district and the mill levy is approved by a majority of the votes
cast, a special annual recurring ad valorem tax levy of not more
than three (3) mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation of all
taxable property in the district shall be levied. The number of
mills shall be set forth in the election proclamation, and may be
increased in a later election, not to exceed a total levy of three
(3) mills. This special levy shall be in addition to all other
levies and when authorized shall be made each fiscal year
thereafter.
      Each district which is herein authorized, or established, shall
have a board of trustees composed of not less than five members.
Such trustees shall be chosen jointly by the board or boards of
county commissioners, provided that such membership shall be
composed of not less than one individual from each county or part
thereof which is included in said district.
      Original members of the board of trustees shall hold office, as
follows: At the first meeting of said board, board members shall
draw lots to determine each trustee's original length of term in
office. The number of lots to be provided shall be equal to the
number of original members of the board, and lots shall be numbered
sequentially from one through five, with lots in excess of the
fifth lot being also numbered sequentially from one through five
until all lots are numbered. Each original member or members added
by an expansion area of the board shall hold office for the number
of years indicated on his or her lot. Each year, as necessary, the
board or boards of county commissioners shall appoint successors to
such members of the board of trustees whose terms have expired, and
such subsequent appointments shall be for terms of five (5) years.
      Such board of trustees shall have the power and duty to promulgate
and adopt such rules, procedures and contract provisions necessary
to carry out the purposes and objectives of these provisions, and
shall individually post such bond as required by the county
commissioners, which shall not be less than Ten Thousand Dollars
($10,000.00).
      The district board of trustees shall have the additional powers to
hire a manager and appropriate personnel, contract, organize,
maintain or otherwise operate the emergency medical services within
said district and such additional powers as may be authorized by
the Legislature.
      (b) Any district board of trustees may issue bonds, if approved by
a majority vote at a special election for such purpose. All
registered voters within the designated district shall have the
right to vote in said election. Such bonds shall be issued for the
purpose of acquiring emergency vehicles and other equipment and
maintaining and housing the same.
      (c) The bonds authorized above shall not bear interest at a greater
rate than that authorized by statute for the issuance of city
municipal bonds. Such bonds shall be sold only at public sale after
twenty (20) days' advertisement in a newspaper for publication of
legal notices with circulation in the district. Any district may
refund its bonds as is now provided by law for refunding municipal
bonds.
      (d) Any district board of trustees, upon issuing bonds as
authorized in subsection (b) of this section, shall levy a special
annual ad valorem tax upon the property within the district,
payable annually, in a total amount not to exceed three (3) mills
on the dollar, on the real and personal taxable property in such
district, for the payment of principal and interest on outstanding
bonds, until same are paid. However, the trustees may, from time to
time, suspend the collection of such annual levy when not required
for the payment of the bonds. In no event shall the real and
personal taxable property in any city or town be subject to a
special tax in excess of three (3) mills for the payment of bonds
issued hereunder.
      (e) There may also be pledged to the payment of principal and
interest of the bonds herein authorized to be issued: (1) any net
proceeds from operation of the district that the board of trustees
of the district shall deem not necessary to the future operation
and maintenance of said emergency medical service; or (2) any
monies available from other funds of the district not otherwise
obligated.
      (f) Bonds shall be issued for designated sums with serial numbers
thereon and maturing annually after three (3) years from date of
issue. All bonds and interest thereon shall be paid upon maturity
and no bonds shall be issued for a period longer than thirty (30)
years. Any district board of trustees may in its discretion
schedule the payment of principal over the thirty-year period so
that when interest is added there will be approximately level
annual payments of principal and interest.
      (g) In the event the mill levy as set forth in the original
election proclamation is less than three (3) mills, the board of
trustees may request the county commissioners to call a subsequent
election to consider increasing the mill levy; provided, however,
the total levy authorized by subsection (a) hereof shall not exceed
three (3) mills.
      (h) The board of trustees of any district shall have jurisdiction
over the sale or refunding of any bonds issued by the district and
shall be responsible for the economical expenditure of the funds
derived from the bonds.
      (i) Such districts shall be empowered to charge fees for services,
and accept gifts, funds or grants from sources other than the mill
levy, which shall be used and accounted for in a like manner.
Persons served outside the district shall be charged an amount
equal to the actual costs for the service, not taking into account
any income the district receives from millage or sources within the
district. The board of trustees shall have legal authority to bring
suits necessary to collect accounts owed and to sue and defend as
necessary for the protection of the board. The State Auditor and
Inspector shall conduct an annual audit of the operations of such
districts.
      (j) Any emergency medical service district may expand to include
other counties or parts thereof, provided that an election is
called by the county commissioners whose county or counties, or
parts thereof, are to be added to in the established district; and
provided further, that the county commissioners in the original
district concur in the calling of said election. The proposed
expansion area shall only be added to the original district if
approved separately by a majority vote, by the voters in both the
original district and in the expansion area, at an election called
for that purpose. The county in which the expansion area is located
shall have not less than one member on the board of trustees.
Appropriate millage or other approved method of financial support
shall be levied in the expansion area, when said area is added to
the original district which millage shall be levied at the rate
used to cover operational costs and outstanding bonded indebtedness
as provided in Section 9C, (d) and (e), Article X.
      (k) Any county or parts thereof may withdraw from a district
provided that an election is called by the county commissioners of
the county whose county or parts thereof is to be withdrawn from
the district. The county or parts thereof shall be withdrawn from
the district if approved by a majority vote of the voters in the
county at an election called for such purpose. If the county
commissioners are presented a petition signed by not less than
twenty percent (20%) of all registered voters in the county, the
county commissioners shall call an election. The petition for an
election for a county or parts thereof to withdraw from a district
and the ballot shall provide for the payment of any debt for
operational costs and outstanding bonded indebtedness in
proportional shares, for which the county or parts thereof would be
responsible as a result of the membership of the county or parts
thereof in the district.
      (l) Any district may be dissolved, or the millage levy changed, by
a majority vote of the registered voters voting at an election
called for that purpose by the county commissioners of each county
or part thereof included within the district; provided that such an
election shall not be called unless either three-fifths (3/5) of
the trustees of such district request the county commissioners to
call such an election, or the respective county commissioners are
presented a petition signed by not less than twenty percent (20%)
of all registered voters in the district.
      (m) In the event a district is dissolved, any mill levy used to
support, organize, operate and maintain the emergency medical
service district shall cease, provided that such mill levy shall
not cease until all outstanding emergency medical service bonds of
that district are retired and all other debts incurred by the
emergency medical service district have been satisfied.
      (n) All elections called under the provisions hereof shall be
conducted by the county election board or boards of each county or
counties involved, upon receipt of an election proclamation, issued
by a majority of the board or boards of county commissioners in the
area affected. In the event more than one county is involved, said
proclamation must be a joint proclamation from a majority of the
board of county commissioners of each county involved. Said
proclamation shall be published in one issue of a newspaper of
general circulation in each county involved in the area affected at
least ten (10) days prior to said election, and said proclamation
shall set forth the purpose of the election, and the date thereof.
The county election board or boards shall certify the results of an
election to the board or boards issuing such proclamation.
      (o) The board of any district shall have capacity to sue and be
sued. Provided, however, the board shall enjoy immunity from civil
suit for actions or omissions arising from the operation of the
district, so long as, and to the same extent as, municipalities and
counties within the state enjoy such immunity.
      (p) In lieu of proceeding to establish a district as outlined
hereinabove through the county commissioners, the governing body of
any incorporated city or town may proceed to form a district, join
an existing district or join with other incorporated cities or
towns in forming a district. In such case, said governing body
shall be considered as being substituted as to the powers and
duties of said county commissioners as set forth hereinabove;
provided, further, said city or town shall be considered as being
substituted as to the powers and duties of a district formed, as
set forth hereinabove. All rights, duties, privileges and
obligations of the residents and voters in such city or town shall
be the same as those outlined for the district as set forth above.

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