Commonwealth Journal

News Live

June 25, 2013

Disagreement between city, county over EMS funding is history

(Continued)

Somerset —

After some disagreements between the two entities that included the city’s move to drop the inter-local agreement completely, the city and county moved toward an updated agreement. 
Pulaski County Fiscal Court early this month held a first reading of an ordinance to adjust the county’s occupational tax structure to make more room for additional EMS funding. 
Now that the amendment has passed its second reading, it’s official that 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. 
“I think it’s a fair agreement,” said Bullock. 
Isaacs explained 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. 
The details of that are contained in the new interlocal agreement. 
Mayor Girdler confirmed during the June 10 council meeting 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 ... to come up with all the cost cutting,” Girdler said during the meeting. 
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. 
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 — and it will serve as an advisory body in the face of issues such as Medicaid and Medicare bill collection, and V.A. issues. 

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