In November, not only will local voters be casting votes for President of the United States and DeWitt County Board members, but they will also be voting to include Farmer City in the DeWitt County Ambulance Service district.
Farmer City's agreement with Arrow Ambulance will expire at the end of the year and the DeWitt County Board's public safety committee has been seeking a resolution to the potential lapse in service. Committee Chair Lance Reece indicates Farmer City can no longer afford to pay for ambulance services as they are at the max levied in their fire protection district.
According to State's Attorney Dan Markwell, the County explored an intergovernmental agreement but funds used in the DeWitt County Ambulance Service District cannot be used outside that district, which was one of many moving parts in regards to funding.
The referendum will be a two-part campaign. Farmer City voters will have to vote to join the DeWitt County service and DeWitt County voters will have to vote to accept Farmer City. Any rejection of the referendum on either side negates any plans.
A failure of the referendum would leave Farmer City in a tough spot. Markwell explains there are scenarios where there will be a delay in response times in parts of DeWitt County.
Many may vote no because bringing the Farmer City Fire Protection District into the DeWitt County district will likely increase taxes but Reece hopes residents will think of their friends and neighbors in Farmer City who will need this service in the future.
Reece indicates they will do what they can to help out the residents of Farmer City and get this referendum passed.