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Venice Looking to Take over EMS..AN EDITORIAL

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  • Venice Looking to Take over EMS..AN EDITORIAL

    More to taking back ambulance service than saving money


    Editor:

    I'm surprised and disappointed former council member Midlam opposes taking over emergency medical services from the county. He based his decision on simplistic, incomplete reports in the local newspapers.

    The issue wasn't saving $159,000; it's where and how more than $500,000 is spent.

    The county will collect about $2 million in ad valorem taxes and EMS user fees. The estimated annual cost of two advanced life support ambulances is $1.5 million, meaning the county will collect $500,000 more than it would cost the city to provide the service.

    Council asked how much it would cost to put a third unit at Knights Trail. The estimate: $405,000, which leaves the city $95,000, using round numbers ($159,000 is based on a conservative 7.5 percent annual tax base growth).

    But saving money isn't the only consideration. The unit will cut response times to Waterford and Capri Isles more than five minutes and the additional EMS personnel will strengthen our insurance rating.

    If the county didn't require Venice to collect EMS impact fees and only charged the true cost of staffing a third unit (about $250,000 less than they're charging us this year), I'd be glad to have them continue providing the service. As it is, we will send more than $1 million of Venice taxpayers' money to the county the next two years to provide our current level of service, and more than $200,000 more than what it would cost the city to provide more comprehensive service beginning in 2005.


    Rick Tacy

    Venice Vice Mayor
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  • #2
    The Debate Continues--City Council Member Fires Off Letter to Editor

    County EMS fees are too high


    Former Councilman Earl Midlam's position against Venice taking over emergency medical service from Sarasota County in October 2005 is based on incomplete facts. The issue was never saving $159,000. It has been a question of where and how more than $500,000 would be spent. Under the current Municipal Services Taxing Unit agreement, the county will collect $1,532,570 in ad valorem taxes and between $400,000 and $500,000 in EMS user fees (roughly a total of $2 million). The estimated annual budget cost of providing two advanced life-support ambulances is $1.5 million, which means the county will collect $500,000 more than it would cost the city to provide the same service.

    Based on those numbers, City Council asked how much it would cost to put a third unit at Knights Trail. The estimated annual budget is $405,000, which leaves the city with $95,000. The $159,000 is based on a conservative 7.5 percent annual tax-base growth.

    But the money saved isn't the only consideration. The unit will cut response times to Waterford and Capri Isles by more than five minutes. The additional personnel for EMS will count toward National Fire Protection Association requirements, thereby strengthening our Insurance Services Office rating.

    Finally, if the county did not require the city to collect EMS impact fees, and agreed to charge the city for the true cost of staffing a third unit (estimated to be approximately $250,000 less than we're being charged this year), I'd be more than glad to have the county continue providing the service. As it is, we will send more than $1 million of Venice taxpayers' money to the county over the next two years to provide our current level of service, and more than $200,000 above what it would cost the city to provide a more comprehensive service beginning in 2005.

    Rick Tacy> City Councilman

    Venice
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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