Commissioners, EMS can’t agree on new 2016 contract


The Switzerland County Commissioners met on Monday evening, and taking center stage in the discussions was the contract with Switzerland County EMS for the coming year.

As of the end of the meeting, there still wasn’t one.

Switzerland County EMS, which is a private entity that contracts with the county to provide emergency medical services, presented its request for 2016, which totaled $442,500.

EMS requested that the first installment be paid on February 1st, with the balance being paid out in quarterly payments, rather than at one time, as has been done in the past.

County Auditor Gayle Rayles said this was feasible and the funds would be there by the first of February.

The commissioners requested that as part of the new contract that one commissioner and one county council member sit on the EMS Board, and that request was agreed to.

Where the agreement came into disagreement was when Commissioner Mark Lohide asked that the EMS Board also include a third new member. He suggested that the board have a ‘citizen representation’, saying that he thought that there should be a board member appointed from the six current township trustees.

EMS did not agree to this proposal, which would have put the EMS Board at six members. There are currently three members of the board, so adding a commissioner, a councilman, and a citizen member would have raised the number to six.

EMS Attorney Lisa Rosenberger stated that a six member board would not work.

Lohide stated that if there was not a voting member from the Advisory Board that he would only approve $42,500, not $442,500.

The EMS contract stated that there would be a 90 day default clause, but the commissioners were opposed to 90 days and suggested 60 days. The EMS thought shortening the default clause to 60 days was fair, but Lohide opposed the 60 days – instead wanting a 30 day clause.

Commission President Steve Lyons ask for a motion to approve the contract, but no motion was made. EMS attorney Rosenberger advised the commissioners that EMS would go back to its board of directors and see if the contract could be revised to satisfy everyone.

Commissioner Josh South stated that he has been in contact with some other providers to come into Switzerland County if both parties can’t agree on the 2016 contract.


In other business discussed by the Commissioners:

– Vevay American Legion member Steve Fritter asked the commissioners about fixing the Legion flagpoles in front of the courthouse. The commissioners will look at them and see what needs to be done.

– Travis Reed was hired by the highway department as a laborer/truck driver.

- The 2016 Sheriff’s contract was approved.

– The Commissioners approved the appointment of Stacy Streett to the Tourism Board.

– The Commissioners approved the bid for the animal shelter cages from Terra Hite for $10.

– A bid for the conduit at the Markland Industrial Park was rejected. The bid was submitted by John McAlister for $300.

- The Commissioners discussed the need to make repairs on the courthouse porch. No action was taken at this time.

- Rosemary Bovard