Committee Backs Plan

ST. MARYS — The city’s General Fund should get a shot in the arm thanks in part to some bookkeeping and an ambulance rate increase.

Two weeks after safety committee members heard the pitch, members of the St. Marys Finance Committee recommended a rate increase for ambulance runs, the elimination of the surcharge for out-of-town patients and those who do not pay any local taxes and the repeal of an ordinance that required a portion of each run to be kept in a reserve fund for ambulance purchases. The rate plan also calls for the adoption of a tiered system favored by Medicare instead of a flat fee.

Under the current ordinance, the city charges $350 plus $10 per loaded mile for service inside the city and $450 plus $10 per loaded mile for runs outside the city. A $100 surcharge is tacked on for patients who do not pay any local income taxes. The cities of Wapakoneta and Celina use a tiered system to base fees. In Celina, a basic life support run costs $425 plus $9 per loaded mile, an advanced life support I run costs $500 plus $9 per loaded mile and an advanced life support II run costs $600 plus $9 per loaded mile. In Wapakoneta, the rates are $450, $600 and $700 respectively plus $12 per loaded mile. Interim Safety-Service Director Greg Foxhoven and St. Marys Fire Chief Joey Weaver favored adopting the fee schedule that Wapakoneta uses — a request finance committee members supported.