Source: NorthFulton.com

Forsyth County negotiates lower ambulance service fees
Knocked about $19K off original agreement

by ALDO NAHED

January 29, 2013

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — At their Jan. 22 work session, Forsyth County Commissioners cut the increase of pay to Advanced Ambulance Service in 2013 from $67,000 to $48,000.



The $19,000 cut was made after commissioners voted unanimously to rescind a Dec. 6 vote that they did not have finalized.



Commissioner Todd Levent said he wanted to amend the December vote.



On Dec. 6, the board approved a total of a 10 percent rate increase with Advanced Ambulance Service for 2013 (a contractual 3 percent increase plus an additional 7 percent increase), but every year after that, the increase in cost would go back to the contractual 3 percent increase.



But Levent said at the work session that after subsequent discussions, Advanced Ambulance leaders were prepared to accept less.



After rescinding the ambulance contract amendment, commissioners unanimously approved a consideration of an amendment to the ambulance contract between Forsyth County and Advanced Ambulance, essentially changing the increase to a one-time 5 percent raise in 2013 and the standard annual 3 percent hike for a total of 8 percent. In subsequent years, the increase would be 3 percent. The contract is for the next five years.



The contract also has a buy-back clause that states if Forsyth County starts its own ambulance service, the county would purchase the equipment and fleet from Advanced Ambulance.



Advanced Ambulance provided a list of equipment.



County Attorney Ken Jarrard said that each year he will have to tell commissioners their financial obligation with equipment depreciation for the next five years of their contract with Advanced Ambulance.



The value for the entire fleet and equipment is estimated at $550,000, according to Advanced Ambulance.



David Gruen, the finance director, told Jarrard there is no way to verify the value of the equipment for a base line and has suggested a third party assessment of the fleet and equipment be done.



Stan Rutledge, of Advanced Ambulance, said each year the equipment price could change because new ambulances ($175,000) could be brought into his fleet and existing ambulances could be retrofitted.



The item will again be discussed at the commissioners’ Feb. 7 regular meeting.



 



ALSO AT THE WORK SESSION





All votes were unanimous unless specified.