The Illinois General Assembly unanimously approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) to improve emergency ambulance service for Clinton County residents in Albers, Damiansville, New Baden and Looking Glass Township.
The past 12-14 years have been tough financially for the rural communities, citing rapid inflation and difficulties with negotiating the distribution of the cost of ambulance service.
“Times are tough right now and it’s getting more difficult for the communities involved to provide emergency ambulance service to residents that depend on this service when they need it most,” said Rep. Meier. “The legislation I sponsored will provide the taxpayers the opportunity to decide if they want to create the ‘Emergency Services District’ or not.”
The legislation (House Bill 1740) is a multi-step process to help rural communities in Clinton County create an ‘Emergency Services District’ for the purpose of providing ambulance service. Rep. Charlie Meier introduced the legislation at the request of the Village of Albers and Village of New Baden.
Albers Mayor, Steve Shoemaker went to capitol in March to support Meier’s legislation to create a new district to help improve ambulance service. According to Mayor Shoemaker, “Setting up an ambulance district similar to our fire department district will allow us to keep local control, keep the emergency response time down and provide an ambulance to everyone that needs it.”
Effective upon becoming law, the creation of an ‘Emergency Services District’ for Clinton County residents in Albers, Damiansville, New Baden and Looking Glass Township requires; a petition before the circuit court; the courts approval for a referendum; and the approval of the majority of voters residing in the proposed district. Rep. Charlie Meier’s legislation now heads to the Senate for adoption.
Village of Albers Trustee Mike McDermid is also in favor of Rep. Meier’s legislation and spoke at the House Committee before the legislation was approved. According to Trustee McDermid, “If this emergency service district is created, it will help provide emergency ambulance service equally to all residents of the district and provide the taxpayers equal representation in the district.”
The legislation to help create the ‘Emergency Services District’ now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature to become law.
State Representative Charlie Meier represents the 109th District which includes portions of Bond, Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties. For more information, please visit CharlieMeier.net or contact Rep. Meier’s district office at 618-651-0405