Commonwealth Journal

News Live

June 11, 2013

City, county come to terms on EMS pact

(Continued)

Somerset —

If the new structure stands, 15 percent of the occupational tax revenue will go to the county’s general fund that is specifically earmarked for EMS — amounting to $1.4 million. That’s up from 13 percent, which had amounted to roughly $1.2 million for EMS, although that number changed depending on how much tax revenue had been collected. 
Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs explained during the fiscal court meeting that should the $1.4 million threshold not be met, it will be made up through the county’s general fund. She added that anything over the $1.4 will go into the county’s general fund. Those amounts will be at the mercy of yearly occupational tax collections. 
Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler on Monday stated that, as per the agreement, the county’s contribution to the EMS fund will be capped at $1.4 million. 
 “It’s going to be up to the city, unfortunately, to come up with all the cost cutting,” Girdler said. 
The agreement includes a lump-sum payment from the county for $550,000 — a little over half of the $982,907 the city had initially asked for. That lump sum will help cover the shortfall for both the 20120 and 2013 fiscal years. 
  “There’s never been an issue about providing service ... the issue was how much the county was willing to put into EMS,” Girdler stated on Monday. “At first they said they weren’t going to put anything in. We do appreciate them changing their minds and giving us the $550,000.”
“The city council feels that ... if that’s all the county can come up with, we don’t have any choice than to accept it,” said Girdler. 
Also included in the new agreement is the creation of an advisory board made up of appointees from each entity. The board would legally have no authority and only serve to provide oversight in cost-cutting measures.

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