Towns near new agreement for Wilton Ambulance

  • The Wilton Ambulance Service STAFF FILE PHOTO BY BEN CONANT

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/23/2022 10:29:18 AM

Member towns of the Wilton Ambulance service expect to finalize their intermunicipal agreement next week, after making changes related to how towns can enter and exit the agreement and moving up the timeline for the department’s budgeting process.

The three member towns that make up Wilton Ambulance – Wilton, Lyndeborough and Greenfield – had representatives meet on Tuesday to discuss final terms. While the agreement was not signed on Tuesday, Wilton Town Administrator Nick Germain said all parties had agreed to final terms, and expect to sign the document after some amendments are included.

“There was an agreement in principle that after some changes were incorporated, it would be adopted,” Germain said.

Wilton Ambulance is a 24-hour service, with two ambulances and a rapid-response vehicle. The ambulance bay is located in Wilton, but is operated jointly by all three member towns.

The main change discussed on Tuesday was the agreement’s notice-of-termination clause. The agreement is expected to extend the terms of the contract by three years – a change from the current one-year contract – but towns have the opportunity to leave the arrangement at will, after giving their partner towns notice.

In the current agreement, that notice is one year. Greenfield representatives first proposed a three-month timeline for the amended contract, but Wilton and Lyndeborough both thought that was too short of a notice, Germain said. The three towns reached a compromise decision, where towns wishing to leave the ambulance agreement would have to notify the other towns by Oct. 1, and the removal would go into effect the following March.

The boards had previously agreed to other changes in the agreement, including changes to how potential new towns would be incorporated into the organization. Under the new agreement, all member towns would have to agree before a new member could be admitted or readmitted to the agreement.

Two other changes would make it easier for town’s to budget for the coming year.

The new agreement includes obligations to move up the timeline for budgetary decisions. To make that goal achievable, the towns also agreed to change the time period for calculating call volume – which is how each town’s annual portion of the budget is decided.

Currently, the call volume is calculated based on a calander year. Going forward, it will be calculated from the period of Aug. 1 to July 31. This will allow each town to know what their portion will be entering the budget season, rather than waiting until the end of the year for budgeting purposes.

“It will make it easier to coordinate, in a much more even-handed way,” Germain said.

The towns will still calculate their portion of the ambulance budget based on each town’s call volume for the coming three years under the new agreement. In 2020, the ambulance responded to a total of 518 calls in the three member towns, with Wilton requiring the most responses with 297 calls, Greenfield with 125 and Lyndeborough with 96.

Germain said he does not anticipate another inter-town meeting, and expects the Wilton Select Board to sign the finalized agreement during its next meeting, with the other member towns reviewing the finalized document by early December.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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