White Township and Citizens’ Ambulance finally have a contract for the township’s offer of $100,000.
At Wednesday’s township Board of Supervisors meeting, township Manager Milt Lady announced the latest version of a contract covering the township’s offer to Citizens’ Ambulance, sent back by the ambulance service’s solicitor John Barbor.
This time, Lady said, it covers the calendar year 2021, establishes that the township will provide $100,000 within that time, and allows a 30-day notice at the end of the year to terminate that agreement.
Supervisor Gene Gemmell was quick to move to accept it, with Supervisor Rich Gallo seconding the motion.
Even with township board approval, the book isn’t yet closed on this effort to help the ambulance service.
“Does this now become public information?” Board Chairman George Lenz asked.
“They have to sign it,” Lady said.
It is a book that first was opened nearly a year ago, when a pandemic was exacerbating what already was a problem for the regional ambulance service.
As Citizens’ Executive Director B.J. Pino told the board in August 2020, COVID-19 added to a situation that in the long run was because of fewer patients taking ambulance rides to hospitals and underpayments being made by insurance companies.
“We need to do our part,” Gemmell said in February of this year, as he moved and Gallo seconded a motion to go forward with a one-year contract committing a $100,000 payment.
The contribution in turn is well beyond the $4,500 subsidy the township has paid Citizens’ on an annual basis.
In February, the board authorized a contract similar to what the township now has for fire services with Indiana Fire Association, which covers 90 percent of White Township, and Creekside Volunteer Fire Company, which covers the northwest portion of the township.
However, over the months that followed, there was a back-and-forth between the township and Citizens’ Ambulance, which finally was resolved Wednesday afternoon.
Another part of the township’s offer was a match of up to $50,000 in new money donated by other municipalities served by Citizens’. Board Chairman George Lenz said that would not include existing commitments such as a $1,000 annual subsidy provided by Plumcreek Township in Armstrong County.
“There would have to be some sort of documentation,” Lady said. It either could come from municipal officials or from citizens in those municipalities.