Mary Alice Reporting –

Smith Ambulance will remain the primary provider for EMS calls for the City of Uhrichsville and surrounding townships with a contract extension.

The entities were presented with multiple contracts with the top two contenders being Smith and the Uhrichsville Fire Department.

For one ambulance, Smith originally proposed $22 per capita but later dropped the price to $17 and to have a backup, the quote was roughly $46 per person. Meanwhile, the fire department’s proposal, for two ambulances, comes in at $24 per capita for the city, since a levy is already in place, and then for the surrounding entities at $22.

Prior to a vote, Dennison acting Mayor Greg DiDanato issued a statement from the Village, Tuscarawas, and the townships of Mill, Warwick, and Union, noting that, if no decision was made, they were prepared to negotiate their own contract since the current language cancels the agreement January 31st.

“Recommending the current proposal from Smith be accepted at the rate of $17.75 for us and $16 per resident for the city, with the fire department providing backup. So, you’re being compensated an extra $1.75 for your residents.”

After a lengthy executive session Monday night, council, in a 4 to 1 vote, opted to keep Smith Ambulance for 18-months beginning February 1st.

Mayor Mark Haney said that, while he’ll respect council’s decision and the surrounding municipality’s stance, he will meet with fire officials to determine whether they will still provide EMS backup outside the city without a contract due to the cost associated. Haney’s hope is to resolve this by the end of the month.

“That $9,000 will be spread out over the whole year. I have to cover overtime cost when we go to a township. I have to bring guys in. I have fuel cost. I have wear and tear cost. We do want to be a good neighbor but it comes down to how much pie we have and where can I split it.”

Officials did not give any indication if the EMS proposals would be reviewed further before the end of the extended agreement.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2020