The Tomah City Council approved a resolution to increase the per-capita rate for ambulance rides during the Tuesday City Council meeting at Tomah city hall.
The rate, which is charged to municipalities that the Tomah Area Ambulance Service serves to help offset costs, will increase to $7.50 from $5. This means the city will pay an additional $23,560 per year, with the increase making the total charged to the city $70,608. In 2019 the city was charged $47,120.
Statewide the average per-capita rate is between $40 and $45.
Mayor Mike Murray said he understands the need for growth and isn't against the increase but expressed concern with how it would financially impact the city. He said "$23,000 toward the city of Tomah in the grand scheme of a $15 million budget is not a huge amount, but when we're squeezing pennies, $23,000 is a huge amount. Why add extra payments from the city if we're already self-sufficient within the ambulance department? If it isn't needed, the ability to do it is one thing, to need it is another."
TAAS director Randy Dunford said the increase is needed to help sustain the ambulance service, which must purchase medical equipment, medications, gas, machinery, vehicles, employees and to eventually help offset costs for the construction of a joint fire department/ambulance building and future growth.
The council voted unanimously for the increase.
In other business, the council approved:
- A resolution to create a full-time code enforcement officer position and to eliminate the part-time code enforcement/property and evidence room custodian position.
- A lease agreement between the city and the American Federation of Government Employees Local 007 to lease four offices on the second floor of the Tomah Senior & Disabled Service Center.
- A resolution to place individuals into non-unionized wage classifications after labor union members failed to gain a majority vote to remain in the union.