BREAKING: Allegany County, NY, legislators are scheduled to vote tomorrow afternoon on approval of a seemingly vague agreement for $600,000 in private ambulance services which already started last week, with potential for future purchase of a Scio company.
The first public look at an essentially two-page agreement occurred today when a proposed six-month contract with Medical Transport Service (MTS) was included in a board packet of resolutions to be voted upon at lawmaker’s’ regular twice-a-month Wednesday meeting.
The body’s Public Safety and Ways and Means committees, as we reported last week, approved motions last Wednesday, following an hour-long closed door meeting, which said that the purchase would be for “supplemental emergency medical services.”
The only description of services to be provided was reference to those allowed, but not required, in enabling legislation under Section 122-b of the state General Municipal Law which provides that:
“Any county, city, town or village, acting individually or jointly, may provide an emergency medical service, a general ambulance service or a combination of such services for the purpose of providing prehospital emergency medical treatment or transporting sick or injured persons found within the boundaries of the municipality or the municipalities acting jointly to a hospital, clinic, sanatorium or other place for treatment of such illness or injury, and for that purpose may: (followed by a list of allowed actions).”
No information has been provided in regard to how the services fit in with several volunteer ambulance services in the county, which have been struggling to maintain personnel.
The state law also requires in Section 2 that:
“Such municipality shall formulate rules and regulations relating to the use of such apparatus and equipment in the provision of emergency medical services or ambulance service and may fix a schedule of fees or charges to be paid by persons requesting the use of such facilities.”
No rules and regulations were included in the Board of Legislators packet and none have been approved by Board committees.
Under the agreement, it appears that the county may be advancing a “transfer to MTS a sum not to exceed $600,000,” with provisions that it would be deducted from any purchase price provided to the service if the county purchases the company.
The agreement refers to provisions related to first right of refusal to purchase the company and reimbursement to the county if such sale doesn’t occur, but doesn’t address what specific services are being provided to county taxpayers and under what conditions.
A copy of the terms of the agreement appear below.
Provisions of Section 122-b of the General Municipal Law are available at https://bit.ly/3EztsHV.
Allegany Hope Community News filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the county last week, seeking all documents related to any services proposals but County Attorney Allison Carrow responded that it may be November 2, or over three more weeks, before the county can determine whether requested records exist.
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