Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 19, 2013

City gives county deadline for EMS payment

(Continued)

Somerset —

County officials have even said it could be as high as 75 percent. 
As per the resolution, Girdler said if an agreement between the two entities aren’t met, then he’s authorized to “take any necessary action to secure EMS funding.”
City officials intend to meet with the county to hammer out an agreement.
“We’re spending a lot of money now putting the water plant in ... all that water is going to the county,” said Councilor Jim Mitchell. “I think they need to step up and help us out all they can.”
The city, which is currently expanding and renovating its water plant, located on Old Monticello Road, provides water wholesale to a number of water providers in the county, including Southeastern Water Association, Western Pulaski Water, Science Hill Water, and Eubank Water. The rural water districts extend into four neighboring counties.
City officials have estimated that Somerset Water Service provides treated water to 120,000 people.
The city intends to uphold a 1995 agreement drawn up between the two entities that outlines how the county and city fund Pulaski County 911 and EMS. As per the agreement, the county took over operations and funding for 911, while the city was identified as the “overseer” of EMS. 
The agreement states that the county will provide additional funding through its occupational tax revenue in the event of a shortfall.
Girdler said during Monday’s meeting that the quality of service of Somerset-Pulaski County EMS is “unbelievable.
“The staff over there (at EMS) is first-class,” Girdler later reiterated. 
The council seemed to be in agreement about the resolution, but its newest member, Councilor James C. “Jimmy” Eastham, who was sworn in earlier this month, took issue with the Commonwealth Journal’s coverage of the issue.
“The two major articles that hit the paper in the last week were all one-sided reports,” Jimmy Eastham said. “They were all achieved by interviewing one side.”

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