2009-08-22 / News

Agreement reached in EMS billing dispute

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON - Union Township Trustees and the Village of Hebron have reached agreement on an outline of how to distribution of EMS billing revenue, but nothing's signed yet and there's still much to consider.

Trustee President John Slater met with Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason and William Kramer, of Kramer & Associates of Cincinnati, a fire service consultant, who agreed to meet with Slater and Mason on August 5 in an effort to arbitrate an agreement. Trustees recently signed a fire/EMS services contract for 2009 with Hebron, after the village agreed to use an arbitrator to help settle a dispute.

Trustees believe the township is entitled to 60 percent of all the EMS billing revenue that the Hebron Fire Department collects because the township contributes 60 percent of the Hebron department's operating expenses. Hebron Village Council members maintain that it's not that simple, and some runs are not eligible to collect EMS billing revenue. Trustees and council members have been at a stalemate since January.

Slater said the first couple hours of the Aug. 5 meeting were grim and he wondered if any settlement could be reached. Talks improved after Kramer suggested he and Mason start from scratch. Slater said they agreed the township would receive 50 percent of the EMS billing revenue generated from July 2007, when billing began, through December 2008. Then the township would receive 100 percent of EMS billing revenue generated from the township area this year, and the revenue would be used only in that service area.

"There's the agreement," said Slater, adding that Mason will present the tentative agreement to Hebron Village Council. "The agreement we have is workable," said Slater. "At this point we want to mull it over. It's just a proposal until it's signed."

Trustee Jack Justice said the EMS billing revenue agreement was originally made in the best in the best interest of the township and he said he was disappointed that it turned into such a controversy. "When gentlemen make an agreement, that's the agreement," he said.

Slater said this agreement may lead to reduced administrative costs. The matter will definitely be discussed at the next trustee meeting, he said.

Hebron Fiscal Officer Carie Kraner said from July 2007 through July 2009 the Hebron collected gross EMS billing revenue of $293,539.94. Med 3000, the company administrating EMS billing, charges a 6.8 percent collection fee ($19,960.72) making the actual revenue received $273,579.22. "Every once in a while, we have to issue a refund back to Med 3000 for whatever reason," she said. To date, Hebron has refunded $3,015.59, so the village's net collections to date are $270,563.63.

Fifty percent of the total EMS billing revenue from July 2007 through December 2007 less Med 3000's collection fees and less refunds equals $96,233.89. One hundred percent of the EMS billing revenue generated in the township area during 2009 was $22,063.92 (January through June). This is a gross figure and Med 3000's 6.8 percent collection fees should come off of this amount. Kraner said this figure does not represent revenue generated in the villages of Hebron or Buckeye Lake (which are part of the township). The Village of Hebron generated $39,829.85 in gross revenue and Buckeye Lake $5,703.26 in gross revenue from January 2009 through June 2009.

So, the "agreement" total is roughly $118,000. Sixty percent of the village's net collections (the trustees' original request) to date is $162,338.18, although it's important to note administration fees under the "agreement" may be significantly lower for the township.

In other township news:

• Justice said he's absolutely certain a petroleum-based medium the Shelly Company offers is the best to use for several subdivision road projects and would consider canceling the bid if it can't be used. Last month trustees opened bids from the Shelly Company and Mid-Ohio Paving to repave seven township roads, including Grande Pointe, Old Farm Road, and Margaret Lane. Shelly bid $120,949.78 and Mid- Ohio bid $100,826.47. Trustees accepted the higher bid because they said Mid-Ohio uses a water based asphalt medium that may not set right if it rains within 10 days of paving and it could track asphalt onto concrete driveways. Justice implied the Licking County Prosecutor's Officer might require the trustees take the lower bid. He said he might cancel the bid if that happens. Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Crystal Bennett had no comment.

Slater said Wednesday that the trustees are absolutely confident the CM will work in more sensitive areas, like subdivisions, and reiterated that Mid-Ohio's bid simply wasn't up to specifications.

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