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Clay And Celina Officials Take First Step On New Ambulance Contract

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clay And Celina Officials Take First Step On New Ambulance Contract

Clay County and Celina took the first step Monday night toward a new contract for the city to continue operating the ambulance service.

The county’s ambulance committee reviewed three proposals Monday night. Committee Chair Bryan Coons said the committee meeting was first of many to find common ground before the current contract expires at the fiscal year-end.

“The main thing we are here tonight for is the affordability,” Coons said. “We got to able to pay for it, and we just need to come to an agreement on the length of the contract, the amount of the contract and benefits we can give to the employees.”

The committee agreed that a three-year deal seemed to be the best option. Coons said the length would give job security while also giving the future administration an opportunity to form a new contract.

“I think new administration should be able to do what they feel like is better at that time,” Coons said. “Employees can also get stuck in a rut and not be able to get a raise if they did a five-year, but once the three-year is over, you could re-bargain whatever for the employees. I think a one-year would be bad for the employees but good for the city. The most we’ve ever had is a two-year. I feel like a three-year would be better for everybody as a whole.”

As for the partnership price, work still remains to be done. County Executive Dale Reagan, Celina Mayor Luke Collins and Coons all drafted a contract proposal.

According to Coons, the city proposed a five-year contract costing $587,100 per year. Reagan’s contract would be $456,300 the first year and have yearly step raises of three percent. Coons said his agreement starts at $446,000 and increases by seven percent the next year for inflation. Coons said the next year would just be a three percent increase for employee raises.

Coons said the city and county are far apart at this time on a price but does not want to be adversarial in negations. Collins said he would like to see the city and county partnership continue.

“We have no problem continuing this partnership,” Collins said. “I think it is great when entities work together and pool resources. I think the worse thing we could do as a small community is say we only work for this or that.”

The committee ended the meeting by approving for Reagan and Collins to continue negotiations outside of committee.

“Our contract runs out June 30th,” Reagan said. “I certainly would love to continue the relationship that we have.”


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