Supervisors say they will pay half of ambulance contract
The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors on Monday moved in the direction of agreeing to for half of a two-year ambulance contract.
After a long discussion, board members reached a consensus that they were would pay for half of the contract with the Chickasaw Ambulance Service that the Chickasaw County Ambulance Council passed on to the supervisors with a 5-4 vote during a meeting last Thursday.
While a number of supervisors said they believe in the importance of having an ambulance service, they also said they didn’t know how the county could come up with the $165,000 for the first year of the contract and $195,000 for the second year of the deal.
Board members directed fellow Supervisor Steve Geerts go go back to the Ambulance Council that he chairs and see if the cities in the county are willing to come up with the remainder of the funds. The Ambulance Council consists of representatives of the eight cities located entirely within Chickasaw County abnd one supervisor member.
The current contract, which Chickasaw Ambulance Service owner Jeremy McGrath opted out of by giving the required six-month notice, expires on June 30.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Jacob Hackman said the calls he’s taken are running about 90 percent against and 10 percent for the contract, and while he said “we all want it, the question is how do we pay for it? …. Is a deputy needed? Is a secretary needed? …Do we cut staff? Do we cut putting rock on the road?”
The almost two-hour discussion was civil and supervisors, McGrath and Chickasaw County Ambulance Service paramedic Bo Gaudineer traded ideas back and forth before Hackman asked for a “consensus” from board members, who said they were willing to fund half of the contract.
— For more on the Ambulance Council meeting last week, see the June 4 Tribune, and for more on this developing story, see the June 11 Tribune