CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — With Caldwell County rapidly growing, residents will vote on a proposition that will provide funding for more local emergency services. 

The city of Lockhart contracted with the Seton Family of Hospitals for EMS services in 2015, but it expired at the start of October 2023. This requires another means of obtaining EMS services, so residents in the county started a petition and gathered enough signatures.

Because of this, the Caldwell County Commissioners ordered an election to create Emergency Services District No. 5.

This would provide only emergency medical ambulance services and associated emergency medical services. Existing police and fire departments will remain the same. 

If ESD No. 5 is approved, residents will owe up to 10 cents per $100 property valuation tax to the ESD. For example, a property valued at $500,000 will cost the owner $500 per year. 

Five commissioners govern each ESD in the state of Texas, and according to the county’s website, “The County Commissioners Court will appoint the commissioners to two-year terms.” 

If approved, the new ESD will be operational by January 2025. First, the county needs to appoint a board of directors, set its tax rate, hire emergency personnel and purchase equipment.