County Commissioners back Spicewood EMS station

Contributed/Robert Klaeger

The Burnet County Commissioners Court gathered for a year's end photograph at their meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20. Pictured, from left, are Jeanne Emerson, court coordinator; Bill Neve, outgoing Precinct 1 commissioner; Karen Lester, county auditor, Russell Graeter, Precinct 2 commissioner; Donna Klaeger, former county judge; County Judge James Oakley; Ronny Hibler, outgoing Precinct 3 commissioner; Joe Don Dockery, Precinct 4 commissioner; Janet Parket, county clerk, and Herb Darling, Environmental Services director. Republican Primary winners Jim Luther and Billy Wall will be sworn in to replace Neve and Hibler, respectively, at the courthouse at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.



By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander


An emergency medical service (EMS) substation for Spicewood cleared another hurdle Tuesday, Dec. 20, when the Burnet County Commissioners Court approved a plat for the project.

The substation is proposed by the Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 9, created by voters in 2013 to channel ad valorem taxes into support of fire, rescue, first responder, emergency medical services, rural fire prevention and control services and other emergency services.

Byron Zinn, president of the ESD 9 Board of Commissioners, reported that 80 percent of all calls received by the Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD)-EMS are medical in nature, when he made a presentation to the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees in November.

Securing land from the MFISD was a big hurdle in the project that is expected to cost about $250,000 in construction.

“EAD 9 has retained an architect and an engineering firm for the site engineering,” said Burnet County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery. “If all goes well, the ESD hopes to begin construction no later than June 1 and have the majority of the work completed prior to the beginning of the school year in the fall of 2017.

“It is a good site, with water from the Spicewood Beach Water System, and a Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDOT) permitted driveway.”

The Commissioners acted also to waive permit fees on the platting of the acre of land conveyed from the Spicewood Elementary School Subdivision to the ESD.

Zinn said the goal of the station will be a 60 percent reduction in response time to medical emergencies. SVFD-EMS first responders average 10 minutes reaching an emergency medical call, but it now takes an average of 22 minutes for a Marble Falls Area EMS ambulance and paramedics to to traverse the 15 miles or more to Spicewood.

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