Emergency Services district

The Hunt County Commissioners Court is investigating the establishment of an Emergency Services District, or ESD, in the county.

The Hunt County Commissioners Court is investigating the establishment of an Emergency Services District, or ESD, in the county.

The commissioners last examined the possibility more than 10 years ago and turned it down at that time as being unfeasible.

The commissioners are scheduled Tuesday to set a place, date and time for a hearing to consider the “Petition for the Creation of Hunt County Emergency Services District No. 1.”

The measure is included during Tuesday’s regular session, starting at 10 a.m. in the Auxiliary Courtroom at 2700 Johnson St. in Greenville.

The commissioners are also set to meet with County Civil Attorney Daniel Ray about the item under an executive session as part of Tuesday’s agenda.

The commissioners previously addressed the idea of creating an ESD in early 2009.

An ESD is a political subdivision of the State of Texas that has taxing authority to provide emergency medical services, ambulance services and fire prevention. The maximum tax an ESD can levy is 10 cents per $100 valuation.

An ESD is governed by a five-member board of commissioners, each serving two-year staggered terms. The board would be appointed by the Commissioners Court.

The Hunt County Firefighters Association was the main proponent of the measure in 2009 and submitted the petition calling for the creation of the district to be put before voters during an election.

The members of the Hunt County Firefighters Association include the Caddo Mills, Campbell, Cash, Celeste, Commerce, Greenville, Lone Oak, Merit, Quinlan, Tawakoni South, Union Valley, West Tawakoni and Wolfe City fire departments.

Under a Fire Protection Agreement Contract between the Hunt County Commissioners Court and the members of the association, approved by the commissioners in September 2016, each department receives a $2,400 monthly stipend from the county to assist with operating expenses.

The cities of Greenville, Commerce and Caddo Mills opted out of the ESD in 2019.

When it came time for the commissioners to consider the petition back then, the first question facing the court was the feasibility of an ESD, and commissioners unanimously voted an ESD for the county was unfeasible at that time, effectively killing the petition.

For another ESD to be proposed, another petition would have to be drafted, presented to the Commissioners Court, approved by area city councils, and meet the requirements to be placed on a ballot.

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