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Texas County Commissioners Drop Secondary 9-1-1 Service, Approve Health Plans

Taylor County commissioners voted Tuesday to drop an agreement for secondary emergency 911 and emergency transfer services with North Runnels Hospital EMS in light of improvements made to ambulance service in the south part of Taylor County.

Previously, the Winters-based EMS covered a small emergency service area in Taylor County, said Commissioner Stan Egger.

Today, though, if a call comes in for that part of the county, "they're going to call STEMS (South Taylor Emergency Services) first, where at one time they would have called North Runnels," he said.

STEMS previously operated as a not-for-profit ambulance service based in Tuscola.

Commissioner Chuck Statler said that because of a mutual-aid agreement between the two services, "if the need arose, North Runnels would still respond if requested."

"So we're not going to have any lapse in service," he said.

In other business, commissioners approved the fiscal year 2014 budget for the Abilene-Taylor County Events Venue District, funding for which comes from a venue tax collected on hotel rooms.

Proceeds are split 60-40 between Frontier Texas! and the Taylor County Expo Center.

"We budgeted to bring in $790,000, which is just about what we did this year," said Egger, who is on the Venue District's board.

Commissioners also renewed the Texas Association of Counties Health Employment Benefits Pool Contract for fiscal year 2014.

The health plan's deductibles and co-pays will remain the same, while the county will pick up an additional 5 percent of costs on employees' behalf - though what current employees pay for benefits will not change.

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