Trustees sign EMS billing agreement with Hebron
HEBRON – A year of wrangling came to an unceremonious end Monday night as Union Township Trustees approved an EMS billing agreement with the Village of Hebron. Trustees John Slater and Jesse Ours signed the agreement with little comment; Trustee Jack Justice was absent.
According to the agreement, the township will receive $19,379.59 for 2007, $70,448.34 for 2008, and $33,154.77 for total 2009 receipts through Oct. 31. The township’s total is $122,982.70. A grand total of $312,529.65 was collected through November minus refunds and management fees.
To review, 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 the EMS billing revenue 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.
An agreement was reached whereby 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.
However, Hebron Fiscal Officer Carie Kraner said the agreement only covers through 2009. They could be back to the drawing board Jan. 2010.
Now that the agreement is signed, Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly has mixed feelings. “It took so long to get things done,” he said. And, of course, the agreement only covers through this year which ends in a couple of weeks. But, he’s glad it’s signed.
Trustee-elect Rick Black wasn’t ready to predict how the EMS billing revenue will be handled next year. “I’m sensing (Slater and Ours) want to work together with me,” he said Wednesday. “I want to get my hands on some facts and figures, and then go from there.”
“It’ll have to be renegotiated next year,” said Ours. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Slater said there have been no discussions at all about EMS billing revenue or an emergency services contract for 2010 yet. But, he said he told Mason he’s eager to begin negotiations. “In a sense, we start over from scratch,” said Slater.
In other township news Monday night:
• Trustees will consider a zoning change request at 8 p.m. during the Dec. 21 trustees meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. as usual. Dec. 1, the Union Township Zoning Commission approved resident Martin Demczyk’s request to rezone four acres from agricultural to R1. He plans to purchase additional land adjacent to his property and convert a barn on his property to a house.
According to zoning commission minutes, Zoning Inspector Paula Greene said the Licking County Planning Commission already approved Demczyk’s plans, and she said he intends to maintain the existing look and feel and of the property and only wishes to convert the barn to a livable structure.
• Greene said Monday night the Friends of the Buckeye Lake Library are planning a 5K walk/ run fund raiser next summer that would begin at the Buckeye Lake Eagles club, continue down the path on the opposite side of the canal along Canal Road toward Hebron, cross the canal, then return to the Eagles club on Canal Road. A small portion of Ohio 79 and a section of Canal Road need to be closed to accommodate the participants. The trustees gave tentative approval to the closure. Slater said SR 79 traffic is his only major concern.
• Trustees scheduled their organizational meeting for Thursday, Dec. 30, at 8 a.m. at the township office