The Skamania County Hospital District #1 Board of Commissioners are elected representatives of the communities that Skamania County EMS serves. Collectively the Board understands their responsibility to the taxpayers and work to maintain a financially sustainable service for their district.
Opening the Books
Skamania County EMS is a municipal agency whose primary source of funding is tax dollars. Collections from property tax and other state assessments, to include Leasehold Excise Tax and Private Harvest Tax, represents approximately 61% of our annual revenue budget.
Current levies authorized by the voters include a permanent, $0.50/per $1,000 Hospital District Levy and a six-year, $0.25/per $1,000 EMS Levy. Without re-authorization from the voters our EMS levy is set to expire on December 31, 2021. For fiscal year 2018, our combined levy rate is $0.71 / per $1,000 of assessed value. This rate is estimated to produce property tax collections of $1,102,824.
With an annual operating budget of roughly $2.8 million dollars, fees for service, grant dollars and private donations provide the additional funding necessary to operate our agency twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Twenty-seven percent of our annual operating budget comes from fees for service and our average collection rate is $564,416, or fifty-two percent of billed charges.
In mid 2015, Skamania County EMS took a hard look at their billing structure. This review was completed to ensure our fees for service were consistent with actual expense and in line with regional agencies providing a similar service. Recognizing the value from our communities support of our tax levies, the agency elected to institute a waiver program for residential fees. To this day, the agency is able to waive co-pays and co-insurance fees that would normally be due on residential transports. In short, if you are a resident of Skamania County, we accept the payment your insurance company makes and write off the remainder of your transport bill. Non-residents are not subject to this waiver program and as such, must make arrangements to pay their entire bill. The agency hopes to continue this waiver process as long as possible and would be glad to discuss how the future levy support may impact this program.
total property taxes collected in 2017 between the two voter approved levies
total revenue collected in 2017
average residential fees written off (for the two year period of FY2016 and FY2017)
approximate amount of our annual operating budget that is allocated to staff costs
number of full-time staff in 2018
A three member, elected Board of Commissioners, oversees the District. Each Commissioner serves a six-year term. Management of the district, including administration, fiscal activities, policy and staff management are the duties of an acting Superintendent. Three (3) Captains who are charged with oversight of specific divisions (e.g. Medical, Logistics/Safety and Operations), support the Superintendent and ensure efficient and progressive agency operations. Captains provide this oversight in addition to their duties to provide emergency medical services.
The Board of Commissioners for Skamania County Public Hospital District meets the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30pm. On occasion, the Board may adjust the meeting date or time to accommodate additional business, public hearings or workshops. The 2018 meeting schedule may be found here.
Meetings are held at Station 7-1, 253 SW First Street, Stevenson, Washington.
Copies of documents not posted on our website are available by submitting a Public Records Request Form to our agency. All requests will be addressed per agency policy. To access the Public Records Request Form please click here.
Requests for records and required forms may be submitted as follows:
Via Electronic Mail
Via Postal Mail or In Person
Skamania County EMS
PO BOX 338
253 SW First Street
Stevenson, WA 98648
Please be aware that our administrative office staff is not available twenty-four hours a day. We encourage persons seeking public records, and who wish to drop off their request form, to do so between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Thursday.
Please email us for further information.
Special Meeting Notices, business meeting agendas and meeting minutes are available for review by our constituents. In an effort to provide these documents in the most efficient and user friendly format, we have indexed them by year. Agendas are provided in draft form and minutes are provided following approval by the Board of Commissioners. Please click here to access these documents.