The county already provides around $1.2 million yearly to EMS from occupational tax revenue, according to Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs. As “overseer” of EMS, the city provides additional funding and manages the operations of EMS.
Meetings were held between entities, and both the city and county appeared to be moving forward with an understanding that the county would provide the shortfall coverage.
But during a March 8 special-called fiscal court meeting, magistrates expressed some reluctance to pay, stating that they hadn’t received enough information to prove the shortfall really existed. Bullock said state auditors and KACO (which is where the county would most likely have to borrow from to cover the shortfall) advised that more information was needed to ensure the county documents the payment correctly. Soon after, the city voted to terminate the 1995 agreement.
Bullock in his letter, dated March 27, 2013, thanks Girdler for the city’s most recent audit report and EMS expenditures and receipts, both of which showed sufficient documentation of the shortfall. Bullock asks for a formal invoice to present to fiscal court for approval.
“Once that is done and our funding is approved, which I anticipate at any time, a check for ($982,907) will be forwarded to you,” Bullock states.
Bullock in his letter suggests that the city and county form an EMS board in an effort to oversee EMS operations and avoid any disagreements in the future. The 1995 agreement had contained guidelines for an EMS board.
“I think we can both agree that the exercise we have been through has not only been time-consuming for both the City and the County, but has also caused some uncertainty for the EMS employees and it would be beneficial for all concerned if we minimize the odds of the same situation reoccurring,” Bullock states. “I believe the reinstituted EMS Board will be able to address most issues that arise with regard to EMS, including providing budget oversight, which will make for more efficient government for all residents of Pulaski County, regardless of where they live.”