Austin City Council unanimously approves ESD No. 17 proposal following Pflugerville rejection

If Travis County ESD No. 17 is approved by voters, it will oversee first responder EMS as well as related operations such as emergency transport. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
If Travis County ESD No. 17 is approved by voters, it will oversee first responder EMS as well as related operations such as emergency transport. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

If Travis County ESD No. 17 is approved by voters, it will oversee first responder EMS as well as related operations such as emergency transport. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Following Pflugerville City Council's vote not to include the Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17 overlay proposal on the May ballot, Austin City Council unanimously approved including it on its own. The proposed district overlay will fund emergency medical services and transport operations for the ESD No. 2 service area if approved.

Pflugerville City Council voted 6-1 on Feb. 3 not to include the proposal on the May ballot, as well as voting 4-3 not to include the proposal on the ballot for extraterritorial jurisdiction residents.

Council said it will continue to seek information on alternative EMS funding options. Pflugerville City Council approved Jan. 26 a contract with consulting firm AP Triton to perform an analysis of funding options available, which will then be presented to council in late spring.

Travis County commissioners will consider the proposal and its potential inclusion in the May election at a Feb. 9 meeting.

The proposed ESD No. 17 would include the same service area parameters as ESD No. 2, which oversees the Pflugerville Fire Department. More than 4,700 petitioners supported the proposal's inclusion on May ballot.


The Travis County ESD No. 2 board adopted a statement of services for the proposed ESD No. 17 in advance of the May 1 election, per a Feb. 8 ESD news release.

The board adopted the statement during a Feb. 5 special meeting. The statement is required by state law and is designed to outline specific services the new district overlay would perform if approved by voters.

If ESD No. 17 is approved by voters, it will oversee first responder EMS as well as related operations such as emergency transport, per the release. ESD No. 2 will continue specializing in fire and rescue services and will pivot away from providing EMS, per the release.

The proposal comes as a result of financial projections released by the ESD No. 2 board that highlight a depletion in general fund reserves by fiscal year 2023-24. If voters elect not to approve the creation of ESD No. 17 in May, ESD No. 2 will continually face financial strains, per the release.