‘This is something the city wanted’



July 9, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Allen County proposes EMS merger

“This is something the city wanted; we are about to give it to you, or at least the chance to take it,” Allen County Commissioner Tom Williams said to the Iola City Council during Monday night’s meeting.
He, along with commissioners Dick Works and Jim Talkington, and County Counselor Alan Weber, came before the council with a proposal for an EMS merger in-hand. The four-page document would give responsibility of the ambulance service to the city of Iola starting at midnight on Dec. 31, 2013.
The county, meanwhile, would oversee its finances and budget.
“I hope we don’t get caught up in the details, I’m looking for a solution to this quagmire,” Williams said.
City council members ultimately decided to table any decision regarding the merger, to allow time for study of the material and for input from City Attorney Bob Johnson.
Williams recognized Works’ involvement with the merger, saying Works, long an opponent to any kind of a merger, has “given up a lot” through the contract, and the other commissioners have “stretched” as well.
“Sometimes we have to bend to the inevitable,” Williams said. “For him (Works) to take this step I think shows a lot of courage we don’t see in public officials these days.”
Works stood before the council for a few remarks as well. He said the goal has always been to improve quality.
“I think we have achieved that goal,” he said. “We hope this contract gets serious consideration.”

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