New Berlin, Columbus to discuss new ambulance contracts

NEW BERLIN – Special board meetings have been called in the Town of New Berlin and the Town of Columbus on Friday to address the contested issue of emergency medical transportation in the area, and explore potential opportunities to contract with the New Berlin Ambulance Service.

Both townships have scheduled their meeting to be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the New Berlin Town Hall and the Town of Columbus Courthouse.

According to New Berlin Town Supervisor Bob Starr, focus of the New Berlin meeting will be on a recently signed contract the township has for emergency medical transportation services with the Unadilla Valley Ambulance Corporation (UVAC). The contract had many New Berlin taxpayers up in arms when it was included in the town’s 2014 budget. Starr said the board will convene in executive session with the town’s lawyer to discuss the possibly exiting the contract and subsequently sign a new agreement with New Berlin Ambulance Service, a municipal corporation with the Village of New Berlin.

In November, 2013, the town signed an 18-month $50,000 contract with UVAC under the leadership of former Town Supervisor Ross Iannello, who was ousted from his position during the 2013 general election. Starr, who ran his campaign on a commitment to nullify the agreement with UVAC, said Friday’s meeting is the first step in switching ambulance services.

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