Lake Charlevoix EMS Authority Looks to Pass Millage for More Funding

The Lake Charlevoix EMS Authority, formed between Charlevoix, Norwood, Marion, and Hayes Townships, will start operating on July 26 and the city is proposing a millage that would help fund them.

If passed the authority could levy up to $1.50 per every $1,000 of taxable revenue on a home. “Well it will stabilize and secure the funding for ambulance service going forward,” said Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix city manager. “As you know, across the state its pretty challenging to keep EMTs and paramedics and make sure the ambulance like you’ve been looking at stay on the road and answer the call for folks when they need it.”

President of the Lake Charlevoix EMS Authority, Roy Griffitts said with the passage of the millage, the EMS department could look at possibly replacing two EMS vehicles that are nearing the end of their lifespan. “By forming the authority and asking for a millage we’re able to address those issues in a planned way as opposed to having something broke down and be stuck with a real problem,” he said.

In the long term, the millage funds would allow for more EMS stations in the area, speeding up response times. “Charlevoix has some unique geographic difficulties for our EMS staff,” said Griffitts. “Getting across the bridge, getting through town either in the winter or peak tourists season all can delay response to service.”

Bob McGhee, a resident of Charlevoix for 50 years, said he’s voting yes. “There’s a lot of senior citizens in this town and it’s just an important service in this town that we really need to keep updated because technology is always changing and they always need things to get the job done,” he said.

Voters will decide the fate of the millage on election day, August 3.