>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

http://tinyurl.com/n2723qt
Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow City council declines fee increases

City council declines fee increases

by Kelly Black/For The Observer

UNION — The Union City Council declined to raise ambulance service fees Monday night.

A resolution to increase emergency service fees in order to cover costs associated with operations failed to receive council support. Ambulance service fees have not been changed since April 2010.

The current fee for a basic ambulance run is $1,000 and the proposed new fee would have been $1,400. Advanced care runs would have seen a $200 increase. The ambulance currently charges a patient $17.75 per mile and the proposed new fee would have hiked the rate to $20 per mile. Other increases were for ambulance cleaning, aid calls and a community fee.

According to Fire Chief Keith Montgomery, 12 percent of patients who used the ambulance service last year had insurance that would pay the increased fees. The remainder of the calls were for patients who are uninsured or have government insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid that already pay less than what is currently billed.

Councilor Scott Yeager called the proposed fee increase, which targets the 12 percent who have insurance that will pay, an indirect tax on the working class.

“It would be better to raise up our monthly user fees to pay for it across the board,” Yeager said. 

Revenue for the emergency medical services comes from service fees charged to patients and a monthly user fee paid by residents.

In an effort to increase revenue, Montgomery is changing how the EMS bills for response to motor vehicle accidents. Recently, the department responded to a motor vehicle accident where the patient did not have insurance.

“Their auto insurance is going to catch the bill for the ambulance,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery appealed to the council that both the fire and ambulance departments are hurting financially and in dire need of new equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatuses and fire trucks.

“The money has to come from some place to update equipment,” said Montgomery, “whether we raise the users fees or we charge the 12 percent more.” 

After discussion and failure to secure support for the fee increase, the council opted to set a work session to discuss all potential revenue sources, including service and user fees. A revised resolution to increase fees could be presented at the next city council meeting.

Mayor Bill Lindsley told the council that contract negotiations with the Rural Fire Protection District were progressing smoothly.

“Most of the humps and bumps are starting to get smoothed out,” Lindsley said.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

cialis 20 mg prezzo in farmacia viagra korvaava generique finasteride levitra g√ɬľnstig kaufen prix du viagra en belgique prix viagra 50mg en officine acquisto priligy cialis 20 mg prezzi cialis prix boite cialis proscar holland cialis g√ɬ©n√ɬ©rique france proscar 1mg viagra senza ricetta medica commande cialis viagra generico sildenafil cialis kaufen holland vendita online viagra viagra meilleur prix kamagra √ɬ∂sterreich