BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Boone County is asking its residents to vote in favor of a tax that will allow it to buy an ambulance, as the service associated with the area has been discontinued.

On April 4th, Boone County residents will be faced with the question of whether or not to pay a new tax for ambulance services.

“Last year, we had 1,160 calls. Seventy percent of those were medical, and about 25% were accidents, … so we need to have these resources available to take care of our community,” said Fire Chief Brian Kunce.

The Boone County Fire Protection District says the ambulance service associated with OSF SwedishAmerican Hospital will no longer serve the area.

Kunce says the City of Belvidere has plans to purchase two ambulances, allowing the fire department to respond to more emergency calls.

“We have the lowest tax rate, so we are very proud of that, and if we pass this ambulance referendum, we will still be below 50% of the average of what everybody else is charging for fire and EMS (emergency management services),” Kunce said.

“You are looking at approximately $130 a year per $1,000 assessed [home] evaluation, so you break that down to a month, it’s $10.80,” he said.

Kunce said he and his team will go door-to-door to ask for the public’s help, if needed.

“You look over at your family, your spouse, your children, and do you want to take that chance of not having the services available?” he asked, rhetorically.

Boone County Fire Protection District #2 will hold a town hall meeting for the public next Saturday at 9 a.m. at 1777 Henry Luckow Lane.