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Montgomery County Drops Voter Referendum On Ambulance Fees

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A Montgomery County ambulance parked in downtown Silver Spring.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/5196812237/
A Montgomery County ambulance parked in downtown Silver Spring.

There will be no voter referendum this fall in Montgomery County on ambulance user fees. In a startling reversal, the county's Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, which represents volunteer firefighters, announced this afternoon that it will not seek another voter referendum on the fees.

County voters rejected them at the polls just two years ago following a successful push by volunteer firefighters to get the matter on the ballot, but the county council again approved the fees earlier this year. Every other jurisdiction in the D.C. area charges the fees, which Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett says are paid for by insurance companies and not residents in nearly all cases.

In Montgomery County, only non-county residents could be sent a bill, something that still concerns Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association President Marcine Goodloe. But, she adds in a statement, that fire and rescue service improvements that will be funded by the additional money are "too critical to jeopardize."

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