Travis County ESD 2 votes to extend EMS in Pflugerville through end of 2021

Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 voted to extend its emergency medical services during a July 15 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 voted to extend its emergency medical services during a July 15 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 voted to extend its emergency medical services during a July 15 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 has voted to extend its emergency medical, advanced life support and ambulance transport services through the end of 2021.

The decision came during a July 15 ESD 2 board of commissioners meeting.

ESD 2 Commissioner April Griffin said beginning Jan. 1, the cost to provide the services throughout the entirety of the district—which includes the city of Pflugerville, the newly created ESD 17 overlay and unincorporated Travis County—is projected to be $4.261 million.

Broken down annually, the city of Pflugerville would pay $2.04 million; the ESD 17 overlay district that includes the Wells Branch area, the North Town municipal utility district and portions of Manor would pay about $1.3 million; and unincorporated Travis County would pay about $940,000.

Griffin said the cost estimate is contingent upon property valuations that should be released from the Travis Central Appraisal District by Aug. 1.

The ESD board of commissioners is sending letters to officials from the city of Pflugerville and Travis County, notifying them the ESD will extend services, and Griffin said the district is still working with both entities to finalize any negotiations moving forward.

The decision provides a cushion from ESD 2's original statement that it would have to cut its services by the end of September unless the city of Pflugerville began paying the district $2.87 million annually.

In the wake of that announcement, Pflugerville City Council began examining its options with regard to EMS, most recently mulling decisions stemming from a report officials commissioned from private consulting firm AP Triton.

The AP Triton report released in June concluded ESD 2 did not need the subsidy to continue providing EMS, advanced life support and ambulance transport and stated the district had overestimated its projected financial deficit resulting from the aforementioned services.

Pflugerville City Council Member Mike Heath attended the July 15 ESD 2 meeting and said he is glad the district decided to continue funding the services through December.

"It gives the city an opportunity to continue to evaluate EMS operating philosophies and hopefully come to an agreement about how we can best serve our community while providing the great service we already have at a cost we can afford," Heath said.

The next steps for Pflugerville involve council members sitting down with ESD commissioners to evaluate viable expectations—including service costs and response times—for the Pflugerville community, Heath said.

He added no dates are yet set for meetings, but time is of the essence, and he anticipates a summit of sorts between the two entities within the next few weeks.

"I anticipate this to be an iterative process where we sit down with staff and subject matter experts to work through how operations occur and reach a consensus," Heath said. "I'm so pleased that we can work together."
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


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