Illinois town short on funds for first response team

Published 16 December 2005

Where there is a will, there is not always a way: Small Illinois town wants first response capabilities but has no money to pay for them

The Galva City Council heard a presentation Tuesday from the lone agency that bid to provide full-time ambulance service here. Despite being the only bidder, it does not appear likely Advanced Medical Transport will get the job. This is because the price tag is too high for the Illinois town: about $345,000 a year. “That’s a stiff bill,” acknowledged city administrator Dave Dyer after the meeting. “It would have to be a referendum,” agreed Mayor Don Hagaman, “and you know how referendums go (negatively).”

If a first responders service cannot be formed at some point, city officials may reconsider hiring a full-time outside service. Dyer said paying for it from city funds is not likely, however — a “max out” of ambulance tax rates in the city and in Galva’s Fire Protection District would generate about $70,000. Another $50,000 or so could come from ambulance user fees. That leaves a $300,000 shortage, since AMT’s usage of Galva ambulances pushed total costs to around $425,000 a year, Dyer said.

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