Ballot Measure for Paramedic Services Fee Increase in Yucaipa Passes
About 73% of Yucaipa voters on Tuesday voted in favor of Measure Y, which will more than double funding for paramedic services in the city beginning in July, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Measure Y will increase the annual paramedic services fee for homeowners from $24 to $52, for small businesses from $35 to $78 and for large businesses from $35 to $121. The measure also will increase the paramedic services fee for residential care facilities to $3 per bed, or a minimum of $78. Under the current fee schedule, the paramedic program will receive about $416,000 this year, about $188,000 less than annual operating costs for the program. City officials said that without Measure Y, the program would reach a deficit of $2.5 million by fiscal year 2011-2012. Yucaipa Fire Chief Clyde Chittenden said, "The bottom line is it's great to know we will continue the paramedic services as we know them. And obviously we'd like to do everything we can to improve that service." City Council member Tom Masner, who opposed the measure, said that he supported paramedics but added that the program should be funded by an increase in the sales tax rate. The annual paramedic services fee, which the city can use only for the paramedic program, has not been increased since 1987 (Marriott, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.