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Allegany County approves contract with Medical Transport Service Inc.

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According to our first poll, 45% of Wellsville Sun readers agree

By Andrew Harris

A week ago, Medical Transport Service Inc.(MTS) came to Allegany County and asked for a partnership. Over the last week the agreement which will initiate a 6 month contract between the county and MTS has been drafted and reviewed by county administration and legal counsel. If you haven’t read the contract, please read our previous reporting here.

Today that agreement became the law of the land and as of this writing, 410 readers have voted on the subject. This could change before we close the poll on Friday at 5pm.

The meeting of the full board today brought the contract to a vote with little dissent. Legislator John Ricci of Belmont was the loudest voice against the contract which Legislator Adam Cyr also opposed. Ricci said this:

“Yes I just want to let the board know I will be a no vote. I just read this yesterday, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had read it last week. I don’t like this contract. I’ve had a few small businesses myself that I’ve had to borrow for; bought a lot of vehicles and alot houses and I’ve never seen a contract as, “easy,” as this. I’d like to see this stiffened up and really can’t live with it as is……”

Ricci went on to say that he would like to support the measure but clearly didn’t believe it was in the best interest of the taxpayer with the current contract.

Public Safety committee chairman and Majority Leader Steven Havey was a yes vote. The leader had this to say before the vote:

“I think that this resolution is important to stabilize emergency services in Allegany County which is why I will be a yes on this.”

Ways and Means chairman Brooke Harris was complimentary of the contract and wanted to make two key points. The first was that the contract has a 30 day “out” for both parties, meaning either the county or MTS can give a month notice and exit the contract. Harris also made a point to say that this contract is “up to $600,000,” not necessarily $600,000.”

Public Works chair Dwight Fanton made it clear that his yes vote was because the funds were from the American Rescue Plan(ARP) funding which was provided to counties to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. That funding has a time limit in which it must be spent or be returned to federal coffers.

A 11-2 vote(Healy and Rumfelt absent) provides the county with a mandate to pursue both stablization of services and strategic goals. The Sun will continue to monitor the new relationship between MTS, Allegany County, and the future of EMS services in our communities.

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