EMS Subcommittee

Monday, April 26, 2021 - 9:00 am

 

 

Robin DeLoria - Chairman

 

Chairman DeLoria called this subcommittee to order at 9:00 am with the following in attendance, Clayton Barber, Patty Bashaw, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo (9:20), Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland (9:35), Roy Holzer, Steve McNally, Mike Mascarenas, Jim Monty, Dan Palmer, Tom Scozzafava, Jeff Subra, Ike Tyler, and Davina Winemiller. Noel Merrihew was absent.

 

Also present: Dina Garvey, Max Thwaits, Rob Wick, and Matt Watts.

 

DELORIA: Weíll call this EMS Program subcommittee meeting to order, please stand for the pledge. Thank you

Before I turn this over to Rob Wick, I just want to indicate to the Committee that Wes Miga, myself and Patty Bashaw met to discuss Newcombís future involvement in joining the County program, but weíre still gathering data and trying to work out of the wrinkles. So, at some point in time weíre going to be bringing it back to the committee.

And Patty do you want to take the floor or turn it over the Rob? How do you want to work this?

 

BASHAW: Um, you want to go, it doesnít matter?

 

WICK: Probably starting off with some of the updates we have.

 

BASHAW: So, we did run around and meet with a bunch of agencies. Lake Placid was like 3 weeks ago, probably now. That went very well. Basically, it was the same presentation the whole time. We went to, Matt and I went to St. Armandís and met with her for a couple hours up there, as well and a lot of questions came from that visit. We went to Keeseville and met with Mr. Barber and his fire folks, I think that went really well. A lot of questions got answered, also, there and I feel like Iím missing someone. Keene, yes, Keene and actually the letter that was more, in the beginning to a partial CON, we got another email while I was gone for full support. So, thatís awesome.

So, my plan is, going forward, besides the CON finishing up, the application is to go out to every agency that, even if they have staffing or something from us now, just so, to get everybody on the same page. The biggest thing that I said was, I explained the overview of the grant and then a lot of questions were answered, generally and then, I said, there should be something from the grant that should be able to help your agency. You know, you may not need staffing, because youíre doing it all, but there might be something else. So, we got everything from equipment; cardiac monitors, I canít remember the rest of them, do you remember any of them? Just contracting with them, maybe just to help increase their wage level to bring it comparable to ours. The training, they want the training, like Lake Placid, of example has nobody in that area that does the training. So, itís just things like that. It went really well at all the agencies. So, Iím waiting for their asks, officially and then we will, Robís got a pigeonhole in the budget, between now and the end of the grant to fit those in and then we should be good to go.

 

DELORIA: Okay, so the Lake Placid group, because everybodyís got a copy of that letter, you me with Larry, is that his name?

 

BASHAW: Larry and the meeting I went to was their president, their chief operations officer, the treasurer and somebody else.

 

DELORIA: So, you were able to clear up some of the misconceptions?

 

BASHAW: Oh, yeah.

 

DELORIA: Okay

 

BASHAW: Whether or not if resonated, it was a great meeting, but they were still a little miffed about the difference in salary.

 

DELORIA: Well, I can tell you this, the County pays more of a salary to your positions than Newcomb does, but we understand that going into it. It is what it is, itís just a matter of joining the program, so to speak and moving forward with it.

 

BASHAW: All good meetings.

 

DELORIA: Anything else for us, Patty?

 

BASHAW: I donít. I think Robís got an agenda.

 

WICK: Yeah, just kind of going through the rest of the agenda.

The 3 per diems that were approved, those are in the process of trying to get hired, right now.

The Westport staffing contract, started March 22nd, Kevin Johnson is filling that role right now. So, and further on in this agenda document there is a number of just routine note dates for performance metrics, those kind of things, for a lot of the tasks that are there.

But, a big thing that I wanted to kind of follow back up on from our last meeting was any questions or comments on the full scale budget that I sent you at the last meeting? Because I know thereís a lot of information there, thereís a lot of numbers and what I sent, that PDF document was a bit condensed, so it shows a basic year and then it shows the end of the full scale year, what those costs would end up being, just to kind of make it a bit more concise. So, I want to see if anybody had any other questions or comments for that, because once we start getting into the scope and budget that can sometimes turn into another discussion. So, if there were no other comments, questions on kind of what weíve been working through for the last month, Iíd like to focus on that.

 

DELORIA: Where is everybody on that? Any concerns or questions?

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, I think for us, too, just so everybody understands, in the course of Rob getting that budget, the DOS is, DOSís timeframe alone, so in order to try and get something to them as accurate as possible and youíre going to wait quite a while. We did just get payment, so the money is flowing on the first phase, but the longer we sit and wait to put the second phase out, some of those costs are already being accumulated, the longer itís going to take to get imbursements and those kinds of things. Itís not to say that you canít reallocate at it another time, and do a budget modification, but those take a lot of time, so we would love to have it be as close as possible going in, right now.

 

DELORIA: Can you adjust your phase, by, hypothetically, pulling a community that was set up for phase three into phase two and vice versa, if somebody is in phase two and not ready for implementation?

 

MASCARENASL Sure, you could and I think Rob has allocations in there, you know, under equipment items or things; which are somewhat fluid, that you wouldnít need major modifications to do and I think for what we know now, heís got it set up pretty well, but itís really just, on our end now slowing down the process in terms of being able to get those reimbursements in a timely manner.

 

DELORIA: But, with this grant is this a cookie cutter and Iíll try and explain myself, that when you bring a community onboard, they essentially receive, under the grant, the same type of implementation, benefit as any other community would or is there some structure that can be changed throughout that?

 

MASCARENAS: Well, there is structure in terms of, thatís the thing with this is, is thereís not cookie cutter.

 

DELORIA: Good

 

MASCARENAS: That every community, what we witnessed has been very different in their ask and their request and weíve been trying. What weíve really been trying to augment the, regardless of what it is, if itís staffing, we try and help there, if itís training, weíre trying to help there. If itís equipment, weíre trying to help there and every ask is different from every agency, but just know that weíre here to help and augment. Thatís really what our role is, what weíre trying to get accomplished.

 

DELORIA: And without issuing the lionís share to any community.

 

MASCARENAS: Absolutely

 

DELORIA: Try and balance this out; correct?

 

MASCARENAS: And communities are going to pay what they pay, based on what their need is long term.

 

DELORIA: Yup

 

MASCARENAS: So, thatís kind of what weíre doing and thatís what Robís budget reflects, are some of those future asks what we are already aware of.

 

DELORIA: Yes, so access to per diems, hypothetically is another component for the community to pull from.

 

MASCARENAS: Sure

 

DELORIA: Letís say that they have the coverage. That theyíre good to go, they donít necessarily need the County program, but certainly want to be a part of it, because of the broader scope of the picture. So, per diems could one of the asks?

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís correct.

 

DELORIA: Good

 

WICK: Itís just at this point in time to understand how much of an ask that they think they need, so that we can account for it going forward.

 

DELORIA: Yup

 

WICK: Because for some additional context, that money that we just got, that was applied for back in April/May of last year and that was only for 2019 costs.

 

DELORIA: Wow, 18 months.

 

BASHAW: So, what Iíll do is when I reach back out to the agencies, like Keeseville and such, Iíll have them set a date for us, you know receiving something back from them, so we can bring it to the next meeting and then weíll have a better idea for some of those budget items.

 

DELORIA: And your contract is with the agency and the town; correct?

 

BASHAW: Yes

 

DELORIA: So, let me look two years down the road from now and youíve got those contracts thatís been established and youíve got employees that are now, maybe not municipal or fire department or rescue squad employees, theyíre now county employees, but theyíre part of the CON, who would reimburse the County for that expense, the town or the agency?

 

BASHAW: Thatís a decision locally.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, typicallyÖ

 

DELORIA: Let me throw this at you and Iíll tell you why I ask that question, because being Newcomb, weíre a fire protection district and we have to have a very specific figure in there. We canít put in a whole bunch of, you know, youíre going to do this, youíre doing to do that, itís a specific dollar amount and that is specifically for fire protection and ambulance service. So, my feeling would be, in our case, because weíre a fire protection district and we canít reinvent the way the structureís been created, that the rescue or, you call them the agency would actually be reimbursing the County for those people.

 

BASHAW: To this point thatís whatís happening.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, whatís happening and youíre right, thereís one just add on there. Some towns, like Newcomb, I believe gives the agency the money; right? So, indirectly that money sometimes is coming from the town, but itís being funneled through the agency; right? So, weíre dealing with the agency in terms of payment and if the town locally decides to find that agency then the town is paying, but theyíre not paying the County directly.

 

DELORIA: Itís going from one account to another, back to the County.

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís correct, so either the district is collecting it, whether itís EMS or fire, through taxation or through the town general fund and then weíre dealing with the agency in terms of how weíre getting our money back from them. If that makes sense to everybody.

 

DELORIA: And the Supervisor is also signing this contract with the agencies, so you get both teams on board?

 

BASHAW: Yes, yes

 

DELORIA: Or fire department, whatever the case may be.

 

MASCARENAS: Right

 

SUBRA: Remember, Robin going forward, after 2024 the County will be creating a new EMS taxing district that goes to all communities, effective 2025, if Iím not misunderstanding that budget right to carry forward the overhead.

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís not true. We canít create a taxing district. Weíre not allowed to. That was all the legislation that we tried to get the State to allow us to do that. That didnít go through. So, our taxing district is our County, itís our County taxing entity.

 

PALMER: Itís the general fund levy.

 

MASCARENAS: It goes to our general fund.

 

SUBRA: So, that $1.1 million, Iím just rounding off, what will roll up into our County taxes and it wonít be another separate EMS district?

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís correct

 

PALMER: It will all go on the County tax levy.

 

SUBRA: That was a misunderstanding. I thought we were creating another EMS district.

 

PALMER: We had tried, we wished we were able to start another and actual EMS district, but we were not allowed to. There was too much lobbying down on the southern end of the State to prevent that from happening from large ambulance groups, to be honest.

 

SUBRA: Itís hard on our taxpayers, because we already have an EMS taxing district in Schroon. That is what I was concerned about was an additional line item.

 

PALMER: Nope, there will not be. It will go on the levy and be divided based upon your share of the levy within each town.

 

BASHAW: The one thing that we did say in each meeting was that the Public Safety Building, you know your spiel, the Public Safety Buildingís coming off and the communications system is coming off, so there should be some money to help cover that. So, what I was waiting for was that, frequently answer questions, because I told them that that was coming.

 

MASCARENAS: Dan and I had worked on redoing the Q&A for what the original Q&A was and we do have a draft finished. Weíve just got to get together and finalize it and make sure that thatís okay. But, yeah, any budgetís only as good as the current year; right? Itís a tool that we use on an annual basis to make decisions and no Board can hold any future Board to the decisions that you make today; right? So, five years from now a Board might not like the idea on how things get budgeted and so on and so forth. So, in some ways that is unpredictable. What we do know is there is going to be some relief in our budget 2024-2025. Now, what we donít know is where the State is going to go in those years, we donít know any of that. Thatís the unknown here. You know last year we took a 20% hit and then it ended up being a 5% hit, those are things that you couldnít plan for that just happened. But, assuming that everything that we know now we would absolutely have room to fit that in, likely, without too much struggle.

 

PALMER: What I do not what to do, I do not want to make the .25Ę mistake.

 

BASHAW: No, no, no

 

PALMER: And that happened before, the number was thrown out, this thing is only going to cost .25Ę per thousand, itís not. That number, it never would end up that number, but Iím being, what weíre trying to be here is clear that we have a certain amount of room within the budget as we go forward into the 2023-2024, were the bond on the jail and the bond on the radio project and thereís a certain amount of money there thatís available and we believe we can absorb somewhere a million dollars without significantly changing the levy that weíre currently raising. So, weíre just being careful about that, because things can change, you can get different boards that may say, you know what? We need to hire more people for this and what looked like a million-dollar project may turn into a two-million-dollar project. So, you have to be careful about that. But, I think we have some pretty accurate numbers and I think we have some pretty accurate projections.

 

DELORIA: My concern with the levy and how that plays out, you know weíve got to raise X number of dollars, whether it be Jeffís $1.1 or more or less, however to pans out and we with the 18 towns that we have within the County, certainly there are towns, i.e. Newcomb, whoís share would be maybe more than one of the towns whose full value isnít what Newcombís is, is that how thatís done?

 

PALMER: Yeah, again, the Countyís levy is always going to be divided based upon assessed values within the towns. Some towns have more assessed values than others, so that means those towns pay less based upon less overall assessed value. Youíre looking at about $82 billion in the County in assessed value. So, you know typically when you put something on the County levy the cost would be less to taxpayers, only because youíre dividing it in a bigger number. You know the tax rateís a simple calculation, itís assed value, your assessment per thousand gets divided out and you determine what the rate is. So, yeah, people who have larger assed values and towns, North Elba has the largest assessed value of any of the 18 towns, any share put on the County levy is going to be paid mostly by North Elba, in terms ofÖ

 

DELORIA: Where does Newcomb stack up on that?

 

PALMER: Youíre probably 5th or 6th, because of your state land values. Minervaís in that same boat, you know so Ticonderoga, those are the ones that have larger assessed values.

 

DELORIA: And thatís been my understanding from the get go and certainly why I supported it from the Town of Newcomb, to absolutely support this program, be part of it. Because the biggest picture here is coverage for the people that need it. If somebodyís coding out there, we got to get to them. We canít play, well, nobody picked up the pager, you know, game, so and I think Randyís vision was just that, that we establish this countywide program, we work together as 18 towns and weíre still a pilot. The State of New York is looking at us, can Essex County make this work and if they can, this is going to be the pilot moving forward.

 

HOLZER: Robin, quick question, now I know weíre talking about down the road financing this through the general County tax base, but weíre also planning to use the insurance recovery to offset that budget for insurance revenue; right?

 

PALMER: Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

 

HOLZER: Okay, just wanted to clarify that, that thatís going into the EMS.

 

PALMER: In one way or another, so in other words, whether itís collected at the town levels or the local agency level or whether itís collected at the County level, that brings your overall program costs down.

 

HOLZER: Right, so the County will bill like a citizen from Wilmington for County provided services, it wonít affect the billing, for example our fire district or town is doing right now?

 

PALMER: Right

 

BASHAW: Correct

 

PALMER: If we deliver the service.

 

MASCARENAS: Again, weíre the, if youíre paying us for that person that shows up as a county worker, Wilmington is going to get that amount that was billed, not the County. Youíre already paying the hour for that person there. If our fly carís the only one that shows up or if the fly car services are needed, because we have an ALS in that fly car then weíre going to bill for that ALS.

 

HOLZER: That makes sense.

 

MASCARENAS: And weíre going to bill for that ALS, but itís not going to impact what youíre billing.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

MASCARENAS: And I think the best example, too is Schroon and I just know that they donít bill. So, us adding the ability to bill, if Schroon Lake wants to bill through us thatís a lot of revenue thatís sitting out there on the table thatís lost that we donít even know right now and thereís probably four or five agencies that are fire districts that donít have the ability to bill that are going to be able to utilize that. How much money is that going to bring? I donít know. I know in Schroon it has to be significant with the out of state population that youíre seeing all the time, but what it is I donít know. We should know by 2024-2025, if we can get that going sooner rather than later and be able to give a real accurate number on what that cost is going to be countywide, by ranking up billing.

 

MONTY: Whatís the definition of if needed?

 

MASCARENAS: Iím not an EMS person.

 

SUBRA: So, Jim, if you have an EMS call and the fly car comes and ALS is not needed then they wouldnít be charged, but if an ALS got onboard and helped service that patient then they would have a County charge for that ALS. No different than if Schroon Lake is going south and North Warren gets on or Warrensburg, kind of thing, our current customer would get billed not by Schroon, but by that ALS, the person who got on board. You know itís like if a doctor got on or somebody thatís higher up.

 

DELORIA: So, the level of care needed for the particular call is going to determine whether or not that thatís going to be an ALS, a paramedic fly car, correct? Because not all agencies have paramedics, do they Patty?

 

BASHAW: Iím sorry, say it again?

 

DELORIA: The level or skill and employment with the various agencies, do we have paramedics across the board between the 18 towns?

 

BASHAW: No, some of them have basic EMTs, some of them have AEMT and some of them have critical cares. So, for an example, Moriah needed an ALS tech, I donít know, over the weekend I guess it was, they went out and paged out, so you know thereís certain protocols, thereís certain experience that, if that person gets on, theyíre basic and they donít feel comfortable with that call and they need extra manpower than thatís when that person, the advanced person gets called. If a medic is going in that area, letís say Wilmington and he gets up there and he is not needed, he might help lift, get people out of the house and whatnot, but that person is not charged for that assistance. Wilmington, you know will say to them, Loriann said to them a couple of times, you know, weíre all set, weíre good or Charlie. Does that answer that?

 

DELORIA: Okay

 

BASHAW: And if they arenít doing that; which I havenít heard any complaints about, then they should be letting me know, the agency.

 

DELORIA: I think we can say things are running relatively smoothly and I think thatís what weíre looking for, you know continuity.

 

WICK: Well, thatís the primary items that I really wanted to go over today, kind of just review. I can go through the rest of the information here. So, we touched on briefly, the last claim that we received, that was like our 2019 one, basically. The secondary claim for all our 2020 stuff is pending. Thatís going to be about $824,500.00, should get confirmation here soon, whether thereís going to be any adjustments or anything needed for that. It sometimes turns into a bit of a back and forth.

I didnít get a chance to catch up with you on this before, there was a note on some of our trainings. The one that we had for January, that was a BLS training; correct?

 

BASHAW: Yes

 

WICK: And do we have another one coming up?

 

BASHAW: Mike just started that one, it doesnít complete, the basic EMT course?

 

WICK: Yeah

 

BASHAW: It doesnít complete until May, I think and then an AMET course starting, probably late August.

 

WICK: Okay

 

DELORIA: Now the per diems, theyíre just that? Theyíre not full time employees?Theyíre just this other group of individuals that are skilled and theyíre willing to come on board as County employees, as per diems.

 

BASHAW: So, like an example is Matt Livingston, he works for ORDA and his scheduleís flexible enough that AEMT that sometimes we can offer him some of the holes in the schedule, so he offers to cover that. Lisa Fish works out of Newcomb and of course she works every other weekend, so she does have some schedule availability to help cover when weíve got holes in the schedule. So, more and more the people are taking time off now, because theyíve got the time. Thatís why those next 3 per diems are important.

 

DELORIA: And I think in Newcomb we have 3 full time employees right now?

 

BASHAW: Yeah

 

DELORIA: So, when you look at time off and vacation time and things of that nature, you know rather than taking one day, I mean thereís a lot of us that do that. I take one day of vacation every 6 months, but the idea is they may want a week off, so you need a week of per diems. Whether it be the same person or not, so to me this group of per diems is going to have to be rather hefty to cover the 18 towns over a period of time.

 

BASHAW: Well if you want more per diems, Iíll hire more. You guys approved 3. I donít know how much we really have in the budget.

 

DELORIA: Yeah, for the grant, but Iím talking about, Newcombís going to have to have per diems whether or not, weíre going end up paying for those per diems, theyíre our business, but to have the group to pull from, so they can fill those voids. Iím talking 3 years down the road where, okay, somebody wants to take a weeksí vacation. I donít have any per diems, where are they going to come from, because I think thatís going to be one of the biggest hurdles, once you get your full timers established and you can pretty much make the coverage and do all the runs, thereís no dropped calls, then the per diems are going to kick in.

 

BASHAW: Well, quite frankly Iíd like to get Danís thought underway and that would help cover some of that, too. Not so much in Newcomb, but in other places.

 

DELORIA: Right, but ultimately the towns are going to be paying, not the towns, the agencies are going to be paying for those per diems.

 

BASHAW: Yes

DELORIA: As they do now.

 

BASHAW: Correct

 

DELORIA: Okay

 

WICK: So, on to basically the staffing contracts, those are all running very well. There are the ones from Ticonderoga and Moriah, revenues are coming in on a monthly basis now and have been since about November. As mentioned earlier, Westport has just started, back in March.

The ambulance for Minerva, still waiting on updates for the results from those bids. I talked to Steve last week, I understand that there is a specification, negotiation, some budget issues that weíre trying finalize a bid on that. Steve, do you have update on that?

 

MCNALLY: Yeah, we should be signing the contract tomorrow.

 

WICK: Okay

 

MCNALLY: We had 3 bids, 2 were almost identical. In the bid it had a delivery time and then when we selected a bidder then the delivery time went from 3 months to a year and they want to add a cost to it, so weíre signing the contract tonight.

 

WICK: Awesome

 

MCNALLY: Yeah, theyíre meeting to spec out the shelving tomorrow evening and then weíre going to sign the contract. In 3 months we should have it.

 

WICK: Alright, thank you

 

BASHAW: I would like to mention that we did also have a zoom call with AuSable Forks and that went very well, too. Donít you think Archie?

 

DEPO: Yup

 

WICK: Okay, really the only other item is this is the time to get our agreement with EMR, reinstated since we got that approved and we donít really have a whole lot of other updates beyond that. So, if there are any other questions that we can answer, any other comments?

 

SUBRA: Iíve probably seen this before, but are we paying our per diems anymore an hour since theyíre not drawing any extra?

 

BASHAW: No

 

SUBRA: Okay, you know sometimes a per diem rate is a little higher to attract people to fill those slots when theyíre not receiving the added benefits of a full time.

MASCARENAS: It falls into a grade and then the last time EMS wasnít a thing; right?

 

PALMER: Right

 

MASCARENAS: So, it fell into a grade position and thatís what it will be unless negotiated otherwise with the Union.

 

WINEMILLER: I have a question, I was just wondering, Patty do we have any ambulance services in Essex County that are for profit?

 

BASHAW: Yes, Lamoille is.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay

 

BASHAW: Varins would be the only other one and theyíre out of Plattsburgh.

 

WINEMILLER: What was it?

 

BASHAW: V.A.R.I.N.S.

 

WINEMILLER: Varins?

 

BASHAW: Theyíre out of Plattsburgh, generally theyíve been a BLS agency. I donít know if theyíve come up to the ALS yet, but theyíre in Plattsburgh. I donít know if they have a CON for our area. Eítown Community Hospital is a not for profit, so that would be the only other. Oh, EMT of CVPH; right? EMT of CVPH has a CON for our County, because they used to be based out of Westport, believe it or not.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, so these, so I guess Iím trying to be proactive, rather than reactive and I know like Moriah it doesnít matter because itís the grant, but in the future, you know when itís on the County, I just am curious what the response will be to these 3, if theyíre for profit, you know what I mean? Is the County still going to pay the benefit packet for those if they need it?

 

BASHAW: So, thatís a really good question. So, those 3 agencies are transport agencies, they donít generally do, EMT of CVPH does do 911 calls, but thatís the Plattsburgh area and Peru and Keeseville. So, they also have a transport service, so they have two entities under that umbrella. Lamoille does, primarily transfers but they also cover Crown Point for 911 calls and as a backup to the Ti area, but mostly theyíre transport agency, from hospital to hospital.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay

 

BASHAW: And the same thing with Eítown Hospital, we might have like 2 or 3 calls a year for 911, but theyíre purely transfers.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, so I guess Iím just asking the question, will they be included with the countywide?

 

PALMER: We donít pay them. I mean we donít pay private agencies.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, so they will not be eligible to be part of the countywide program?

 

PALMER: No, no they do their own billing.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, okay and the other question I had and I just want to clarify something, I want everyone in Essex County to have good EMS. I heard youíre against this, thatís not true; okay? I just want to make sure that itís fair and equally distributed and that brings me to my next question. I had a long conversation, not last week, the week before with Joe, the Supervisor of Ticonderoga does not currently contract with their EMS, but itís my understanding that Ticonderoga ambulance service is part of the County program, theyíre getting paramedics, so based on that and I know right now itís grant, so it doesnít matter, but when you go to the County, right, if, is Ticonderoga the only town that does not have EMS contracted?

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, Ticonderoga is paying currently, Ticonderoga is not under the grant anymore. Ticonderoga got their first year grant and now theyíre paying us directly. So, their district taxes; which means Joe does and the Ticonderoga Board is not giving them money directly, but they still are taxing their district. Does that make sense to you? Thatís how they function in terms of revenue.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, but so theyíre collecting the tax on the County level, Iím sorry the Town level, but they donít have a contract for their EMS service?

 

MASCARENAS: Not with the Town directly, in terms of payment. They have a contract with us, because weíre supplementing their personnel.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, so was Ticonderoga paying?

 

MASCARENAS: No, the residents of Ticonderoga are.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay

 

MASCARENAS: Itís the same people, itís the same tax base anyway you shake it out, right?

 

WINEMILLER: Well, hereís where Iím going with this and I know right now itís grant, so it doesnít matter and I donít care, but in the future, if we have 18 towns in Essex County and 17 of them are contracted with local EMS on the town level and Ticonderoga is only paying on the County level is that fair and equitable to everyone in Essex County?

 

MASCARENAS: Sure, like I said itís similar to, most communities, towns donít pay their EMS districts directly, they have their own taxing district and it shows up on a bill; right?

 

PALMER: They raise their own taxes.

 

WINEMILLER: Right, but we contract. So, I am just saying about St. Armand, because this is how ours works.

 

MASCARENAS: Okay

 

WINEMILLER: We contract with Saranac Lake Rescue Squad which is, itís very complicated, but theyíre there in Franklin County and then we also do some with North Elba, because part of St. Armand is in North Elba, so we collected about $32,000.00 - $33,000.00 a year and distribute it to Saranac Lake and North Elba through a contract, so we are, weíre collecting a tax and then paying directly.

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís one mechanism, the other is if you have a separate district; which is all inclusive of those people that you represent and thatís how a lot of communities operate.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay

 

MASCARENAS: So, the town doesnít write a check to the agency, because they have the ability to tax.

 

PALMER: The agency itself is raising its own tax.

 

WINEMILLER: The agency itself has the ability to tax, thereís no need to duplicate that.

 

MASCARENAS: Now the town certainly at any given time can make that decision and say we want to give you X amount of dollars because we need it for this or that or the other, they can do that. At the County level, we donít really care on how youíre running locally; right? So, our way to making it fair and equitable is by saying, were contracting with you if you need personnel, weíre going to supply that to you and hereís what the charge is going to be whether you collect it through the district or the town we donít necessarily care about that.

 

WINEMILLER: So, are you saying thatÖ

 

DELORIA: Davina, let me just, weíre going to go back to our previous meeting and I think Mr. Gillilland indicated that a lot of your questions are specifically for St. Armand and you really need to get with Mike and Dan to get those answered, theyíre really not committee related. I mean Iím willing to entertain a few more minutes of this, but at our last meeting we suggested that if you donít understand the program to get with these guys separately.

 

WINEMILLER: Okay, then can I ask one more question?

DELORIA: Yup, absolutely Davina.

 

WINEMILLER: I know that we have talked about getting the documents to all the Supervisors and you know and not just the committee members and I was just wondering if that was going to happen?

 

MASCARENAS: Absolutely

 

BASHAW: We can do that.

 

MASCARENAS: And I apologize for that, everything will go to the whole Board.

 

MONTY: Just a simple solution, Davina, with this, if you had a taxing district in St. Armand on your tax bill it would be EMS taxing district.

 

WINEMILLER: Yes

 

MONTY: And you wouldnít have to sign a contract with those people. We do not have a EMS taxing district in Lewis, therefore I sign a contract every year with Elizabethtown/Lewis and stuff, so itís only batch of tax money and thatís what Ti does.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Moriah, we donít have a special ambulance district; which you have to form, just like a fire district. They submit the budget and we donít really have any control over it, just part of your levy. In Moriah we contribute towards our squad, we have a contract like Jim does and we give them X number of dollars, we also pay for their fuel and so on and thatís pretty much how we support our squad.

 

MONTY: And that fuel is all part of the contract.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Exactly, all within the contract.

 

DELORIA: Right and let me just throw this out Davina, maybe this will help, too, is that, Newcomb for example weíre a fire protection district and thereís nothing in State Law that requires the Town of Newcomb to provide ambulance through our levy.

 

WINEMILLER: Right

 

DELORIA: I mean we do so, because itís the human and the right thing to do. So, I think every town seems to be different. We have fire protection districts, we have fire districts, we have fire districts that are split up and now they have an EMS district, so I think weíre all doing it based on the population of our communities and ensuring that that coverage is there and so did you have another question for us?

 

WINEMILLER: Nope

DELORIA: Okay, Robert, anything else for today.

 

WICK: No, sir.

 

DELORIA: Okay, is there any other questions from our committee here? If not we stand adjourned.

 

 

AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS TASK FORCE IT WAS ADJOURNED AT 9:45 AM.

 

 

Respectively Submitted,

 

 

Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors