CRYSTAL BEACH — Voters overwhelmingly approved a new emergency services district for the Bolivar Peninsula.

The proposition passed with 202 votes in favor and 39 votes against. There are 2,183 registered voters on the peninsula.

The new taxing entity will provide funding for fire and emergency medical services for the peninsula communities of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilchrist and High Island.

The new emergency services district means continued ambulance service for the peninsula, said Sid Bouse, a longtime Crystal Beach resident and head of the peninsula’s redevelopment group PenDeCo.

Since Hurricane Ike struck in 2008, the county has supplemented ambulance service and fire service. The taxing entity’s board would at first levy a property tax to fund the emergency services.

County commissioners will appoint a five-member commission to manage the district’s budget and set the property tax rate.

Once the district is up and running, that board can call for another election that would allow for a sales tax to be established to provide funding.

“I’m really proud of the community,” Bouse said on election night. “A lot of people put in a lot of time and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here.”

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or


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