MILFORD — Following a meeting Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 7, with representatives from Lutheran EMS, the company contracted to provide ambulance service with the town of Milford, Clerk-Treasurer Joellen Free announced an agreement has been reached to modify the current financial arrangement.
Beginning in 2019 and beyond, Lutheran EMS has proposed an elimination in the town’s financial subsidy for service in the community. During the next two years, the amount the town pays will be decreased in two phases. In 2017, Milford will pay Lutheran EMS $17,500, an amount that will be reduced to $8,750 in 2018 before its elimination in 2019.
According to Free, the town of Milford provided a $35,000 subsidy to Lutheran EMS for service in 2016. She pointed out the amounts paid during the next two years represent a 50 percent decrease annually compared to the previous year.
In a letter from Lutheran EMS, CEO Kirk Ray wrote: “Based in large part on the feedback of various stakeholders, we’ve devoted a significant amount of time over the last few months to review current subsidy levels for EMS. Our goal was to seek opportunities to provide some relief to local budgets through a decrease in the amount each jurisdictions expected to fund while continuing to maintain excellent service.”
Van Buren Township Trustee Rebecca Alles also attended the meeting and was presented a similar agreement to eliminate the subsidy paid to Lutheran EMS by the township, starting in 2019.
Free said she was unaware this was a possibility when Lutheran EMS purchased Multi-Township EMS in 2016. She and Alles were alerted to the potential opportunity when they learned of subsidy elimination between Lutheran EMS and the town of South Whitley. “This is certainly working out to our favor,” said Free. “It’s definitely a pleasant surprise for our town.”
Milford Town Councilman Doug Ruch, who also attended the meeting Tuesday, noted the proposal will be discussed at the council’s meeting Monday evening, Feb. 13. “We’ll take a look at it and get the opinion of the other two council members,” he said. “I don’t foresee any problem with it passing but we’ll talk about it on Monday.”