Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 5, 2013

County, city come to terms on EMS flap

(Continued)

Somerset —

Girdler added that a joint resolution will be proposed between the city and county next week relative to the agreement.
Earlier last month, Girdler had met with Barty Bullock about the city possibly claiming its own portion of the occupational tax — which funds a significant portion of the county’s budget — in order to solve the shortfall. However, Girdler said that option wouldn’t come into play until some time in the future, and he had stated to the Commonwealth Journal that funding EMS and avoiding service interruption would be the city’s first priority.
Although only estimates exist as to what portion of the occupational tax would go to the city, numbers have been put at 55 percent to 65 percent of the pie — and that would depend on which employers are located in the city limits. 
County officials have even said it could be as high as 75 percent; Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs said that operating without its full occupational revenue, which makes up 20 percent of that entity’s budget, “would cripple us.”
The statement released Tuesday called the preliminary agreement “a cornerstone for future growth, providing essential services to all citizens today and in the future, and complete(s) the contract arrangement that was made in 1995,” and that it’s the “first comprehensive effort in over 20 years that will make local government more efficient, less confusing, create more jobs, and provide quality services ... that are expected by every person in Pulaski County (and) Somerset.”
 

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