Chapter 3.65
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS) DISTRICT

Sections:

3.65.010    Finding of public interest.

3.65.020    Creation of district – Boundaries established.

3.65.010 Finding of public interest.

After due consideration, and being fully informed and advised, the city council of the city of Bothell finds that it is in the public interest to create an urban emergency medical service district in the city. The following facts and circumstances form the basis for this finding:

A.    Cities may form utilities to provide emergency medical service throughout the city (RCW 35.21.766). There are two primary methods for funding an EMS utility: (1) an EMS property tax levy (an “EMS levy”) under RCW 84.52.069, and (2) excise taxes, fees, rates and charges under RCW 35.21.768. Cities may also use other general city funds to support the EMS utility.

B.    The city council on June 29, 1994, adopted Ordinance No. 1559, creating an EMS utility to provide EMS services throughout the city, and establishing a system of rates and charges for the funding of that utility. Since 1994, the city has operated its EMS utility pursuant to this ordinance, as amended, which is found in Chapter 3.60 BMC.

C.    The city cannot collect a citywide EMS levy because King County already collects an EMS levy (RCW 84.52.069(6)). Instead, city residents who live in King County pay for EMS through King County EMS levies. City residents in Snohomish County pay the city’s EMS utility customer charge under BMC 3.60.013 and RCW 35.21.766.

D.    The State Legislature in the 2005 session substantially amended the ambulance utility statutes in response to the state Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Arborwood v. City of Kennewick. These changes will go into effect on July 24, 2005. In order to continue collecting the EMS utility customer charge, the city would be required to amend its ordinance and commit further resources without assurances that such a program under the new law would be successful.

E.    RCW 35.21.762 authorizes the city council to create an urban EMS district in Snohomish County that has boundaries coterminous with the city’s boundaries within that county. An urban EMS district is a quasi-municipal corporation, an independent taxing “authority” and a “taxing district” within the meaning of Article 7, Sections 1 and 2 of the State Constitution.

F.    An urban EMS district may propose an EMS levy to the voters of the district for their approval or rejection, and, if approved, may collect that levy and use it to pay the city for emergency medical service within its boundaries (RCW 35.21.762, 84.52.069).

G.    Notice of a public hearing regarding the creation of an urban EMS district was published 10 days prior to a public hearing in the King County Journal (the city’s official newspaper) and in the Everett Herald. Copies of this notice are attached as Exhibit A to the ordinance codified in this chapter and by this reference are incorporated herein.

H.    The city council held a public hearing, as required by RCW 35.21.762, and has given consideration to written comments received prior to the hearing and to the comments received at the public hearing. (Ord. 1944 § 2, 2005).

3.65.020 Creation of district – Boundaries established.

The city council, pursuant to RCW 35.21.762, hereby creates an urban EMS district, which shall be designated the “Bothell Urban EMS District” (the “district”). The district shall have boundaries coterminous with those of the Snohomish County portion of the city. The district shall possess all powers and authority that are or may be granted to urban emergency service districts under state law. The district shall be governed by the members of the city council, acting in an ex officio capacity and independently, who shall comprise its governing body. The voters of the district shall be all the registered voters residing within the district. The district shall be deemed incorporated and established upon the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 1944 § 3, 2005).