San Juan Island EMS to return an estimated $200,000 in taxpayer money in 2023

Submitted by San Juan County Hospital District No 1.

The Board of Commissioners adopted a 2023 budget for San Juan Island EMS that returns an estimated $200,000 in funding to the public for the year.

Chair Anna Lisa Lindstrum remarked, “I am extremely proud to have been a part of creating such a complex and vibrant budget that not only allows us to comfortably operate San Juan Island EMS, but also permits the Board to approve expenditures on capital improvements and return money to the public.”

Nathan Butler, Chief Administrator of San Juan Island EMS commented that, “When I determined that the levy was going to be worth more than expected, I called Chair Lindstrum to tell her the news. Her first words were ‘let’s give it back to the public.’”

Butler later commented that his biggest concern was how this would impact ongoing union negotiations: “I went to Union leadership and explained the Board’s decision to return an estimated $200,000 in taxpayer funds. I didn’t want them to hear it from someone else. But the union opted not to change their bargaining position. Frankly, it would have been hard to give back taxpayer funding if our employees hadn’t endorsed a position of fiscal responsibility. I couldn’t be more appreciative.”

Commissioner Everett Clary, who serves on the finance committee for the Board, stated that, “San Juan Island EMS’s 2023 budget totals at about $3 million in expenditures, plus planned capital fund expenditures for two new sprint rigs. Due to collective bargaining that increased working hours for staff, the District was able to eliminate one staff EMT position, which had been temporarily vacant, while maintaining a full-time training officer, two Community Paramedicine EMTs that help high-risk patients, and support an expansive training program.”

Further information on San Juan Island EMS’s FY23 budget can be found on the Hospital District’s webpage under board documents.

San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 operates San Juan Island EMS and Village at the Harbor. The District pays a large subsidy to support PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center.