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County may save on SEOEMS contract if Gallia joins district

Lawrence’s contract with Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service (SEOEMS) – under review by commissioners now – could decrease in cost next year if Gallia County joins the multi-county ambulance district.

Friday, December 21, 2001

Lawrence’s contract with Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service (SEOEMS) – under review by commissioners now – could decrease in cost next year if Gallia County joins the multi-county ambulance district.

SEOEMS executive director Eric Kuhn delivered copies of policy changes, budgets and contracts to commissioners Thursday.

Lawrence County’s share of the district’s budget this year totals about $1,198,000; next year’s cost increases to about $1,236,700. The increase takes into account a 30-cents-an-hour across the board raise for SEOEMS employees. (The contract does not cover the SEOEMS’s temporary operation of the county’s 911 system.)

However, Gallia County commissioners have asked for a proposal from SEOEMS to cover that county, Kuhn. If that happens, then Gallia would also pay a share of SEOEMS operational costs, thereby reducing the share other counties pay.

"Gallia would take up to 15 percent of central coverage costs," Kuhn said, adding a contract amendment next year would then lower Lawrence County’s cost.

Commissioners received the contract and budget reports, but delayed action. A decision is expected at their next meeting – Jan. 3, 2002.

Commissioners did approve of a SEOEMS policy change. New county’s signing up with SEOEMS will now face a $50,000 fee if they withdraw from the ambulance district.

In other action, commissioners:

– Heard a report from Lawrence County MRDD superintendent Jimmie Thacker about the school district’s impending renovation project.

The MRDD board has contracted with architect Bob Dalton and the state for an addition and renovation at the Tri-State Industries building, thanks to a $300,000 state grant this summer, Thacker said.

The district will spend up to $100,000 in local money to supplement the state grant. Bids are expected in the latter part of January.

Work will include more office space, heating changes, a water storage tank, interior renovations and more.

Commissioners approved of the board’s contract, and a separate change in the MRDD budget to reflect the increased cost of county health insurance.

– Approved more paperwork relating to the Cliffview Sewer project. The Chesapeake Bypass will take out the housing developments package treatment plant, but ODOT has agreed to help extend Union-Rome Sewer District lines and pay tap fees for residents. Revisions to a contract, including a warranty on work, was approved.

– Approved the employee retirement incentive plan for the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services for next year.

– Reappointed Ernest Webb as the apiary inspector for Lawrence County.

– Established a fund for money borrowed to purchase 911 equipment.