NEW BERLIN – New Berlin officials met with a representative from the Town of Pittsfield on New Year's Eve night, and worked out a plan that'll keep New Berlin's ambulance service running for at least another six months.
Village of New Berlin Mayor Terry Potter, said the village needed to hold an emergency meeting on Monday night to work out an agreement with the Town of New Berlin and the Town of Pittsfield that would keep New Berlin's ambulance service operational but also pay for its service.
"When we received the word that Columbus was going to enter into a contract with Sherburne we needed to look at every available option," said Potter. "When there is a financial concern, I think cutting back on hours and manpower are options we have to consider."
Ultimately officials from the different municipalities each agreed to pay $37,500 for the service, totaling $112,500, but in order to help keep costs low the service would cut down it's operational time from 24 hours a day to 16 hours a day. New Berlin Ambulance Service representatives said the 16 hours that the service would be operational for was tentatively set for 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but officials from the village said that was subject to change.
"The goal is to return to 24 hours a day coverage eventually," said Potter. "But I think we've got a good plan going forward, and we're going to do everything we can to make this work for the community."
Another stipulation of the contracting municipalities was that in six months time they would meet again and review the progress of ambulance service. The town boards will also need to vote to accept the new contract at their next monthly meeting.
Potter said the board is always discussing the sustainability of the service, and over the last 10 years there have been challenges they've faced, but each time the board has faced it head on.
"This is just another challenge for us to rise up to," he said.
Potter said the need for a new agreement came earlier this month after Town of Columbus officials announced that Columbus was leaving the shared service to joined the Sherburne ambulance service instead...