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County gets $54K refund from EMS

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Savings continue from emergency services merger

By Calen McKinney

 

It's not costing as much as it used to, and officials say the services are better.

In 2011, after much discussion, the city and county agreed to each pay half of the deficits to operate the community's rescue and E-911 services.

As part of the agreement, a committee of two Campbellsville City Council members and two magistrates was created to study the operations' finances and see if the merger of local fire and rescue services was successful.

Two years later, Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young, who came up with the plan to merge the two in an attempt to save money, says the merger works and has saved both the city and county money.

The committee met on Thursday to discuss the 2012-2013 fiscal year finances for the local EMS, fire and rescue and E-911 services.

Overall, expenses held steady when compared to 2012-2013 and income increased. As a result, the city and county each had to pay less to cover the deficit of the services.

In all, the services cost $2,817,790.68 to operate in 2012-2013. Income totaled $1,627,578.38.

When divided, the city and county are each responsible for $595,106.15.

Considering the county pays the city $650,000 during the year to operate the services, Young told the committee, that means the county is owed a refund of $54,893.85.

"Wonderful," Magistrate Richard Phillips said.

Ed Gorin echoed the sentiment.

"Great, you did a good job."

With that said, Young presented Phillips and Gorin, who serve on the committee, and Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers with a check for that amount.

At the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the city and county each paid $621,179.35 to cover the deficit of the services. The county was given a $28,820.65 refund.

But in 2010-2011, before the merger, the deficit topped out at $1,460,084.20. The county contributed $650,000 to the cost and the city picked up the remaining $810,084.20.

So, Young said, that means the city and county each paid less to operate the services during the 2011-2012 fiscal year - the first year after the merger took place - and even less last fiscal year.

And, he said, new defibrillators were purchased for Campbellsville/Taylor County EMS last year at a cost of $78,265.49, a $298,444.85 debt was paid and much-needed renovations were done at Campbellsville/Taylor County E-911 Center at a cost of $11,446.42.

In all, Young said, the services are not costing as much to operate and the services are being improved.

Gorin said he appreciates the work Young has put into making sure the merger is a success and he believes the community's emergency services operations are some of the best.

Young said he appreciates the city and county working together to ensure that residents have the services they deserve.

"Not just in the city, but in the county," he said.

Young said emergency services personnel are continuously undergoing training to become even more efficient. He said he was recently an EMS patient and knows firsthand about the new intubation techniques the personnel use.

Young said EMS has been able to get new vehicles as a result of the merger and now the oldest medic unit on the road is a 2010.

He said he believes the merger has been successful because of city and county governments working together.

Phillips said the people in his district have told him that is very important to them.

"Because when the city does well, the county does well," he said. "When the county does well, the city does well."

Council member Greg Rice, who, along with Mike Hall Jr., represents the City Council on the committee, said the county saved $54,893.85 last year and the city did as well because it didn't have to pay that amount to meet its half of the deficit.

Gorin said he is proud of the city and county.

"We're one big team here," he said. "[And we're] doing something great for the community."

Rogers said it takes everyone for the effort to be successful.

"We're here for one person and that's the community."

The committee meets after each quarter of the fiscal year and will meet again in October. Its meetings are open to the public.

Hall did not attend Thursday's meeting.