Supes discuss future of EMS, budget amendment

The Greene County supervisors are wrestling with what will happen July 1, the day Greene County Emergency Medical Services will no longer have a service contract with the county to provide ambulance services.

Dennis Morlan notified the supervisors earlier this year that after 32 years of providing ambulance service in the county, he plans to retire.

Under the long-standing service contract, Morlan receives $50,000 per year from the county to provide the service. The county owns the ambulances and the building. The property on which the building stands at the west end of Washington St is owned by Greene County Medical Center and leased to the county.

Greene County EMS owns most of the equipment and has 11 employees.

At the supervisors’ request, assistant county attorney Thomas Laehn researched whether the Iowa Code requires the county to provide ambulances services. Laehn reported on Monday that it does not.

The county is not interested in taking on managing ambulance services. According to board chair John Muir, Greene County Medical Center is also not interested.

“With this information from Thomas (Laehn), we need to see what the options are,” Muir said.

“It’s a service we’ve got to have here,” Mick Burkett said.

“But it’s got to be a good service,” Pete Bardole interjected.

“We don’t want it to be county-based, but we do want there to be an ambulance service,” Muir said

The three county-owned ambulances are valued at more than $300,000. The equipment is valued at more than $100,000.

The supervisors agreed to have further conversation with Greene County Medical Center CEO Carl Behne.

The supervisors’ Monday discussion came to no conclusions.

The supervisors also were briefed by auditor Jane Heun on an amendment for the current year budget.

The amendment reduces revenue by $13,250, to reflect a decrease in Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST) of $20,000 from what was anticipated, but an increase in $6,750 in recovered past due court fines.

Expenses are increased by $40,000 for new digital cameras for the sheriff’s office and $5,000 for election poll workers (due to unbudgeted special elections).

The total ending fund balance will change from $3,769,781 to $3,712,031.

A public hearing on the budget amendment is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29, at 9 am in the board room at the courthouse.

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