Edwardsburg Village Council discusses future of ambulance service

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

EDWARDSBURG — The Edwardsburg Village Council discussed the future of the Edwardsburg Ambulance Service during its most recent meeting. 

The service has been slowly losing staff, possibly due to higher pay available at SMCAS and other nearby services and municipalities. The Ambulance Committee of the Village Council has been researching methods to increase pay for workers, particularly for the transfer truck, mentioning the possibilities of increased township contribution and a millage as options. 

An increased mileage rate of $15 per mile has already been implemented. Both trucks are currently fully staffed, but Trustee Laura Hughes emphasized that the current rate of attrition is not sustainable and that a partial loss of ambulance service could occur within ten years without a change. Trustee Nancy Stoner spoke of her desire to let the public know of the situation now so it could be remedied before it became a problem.

During the meeting, they approved various financial reports and the most recent check register. 

The Village is in the process of switching banking institutions, with the change to the new account being made in order to save on banking fees. Invoice payments were also unanimously approved, including one attorney invoice and one for the purchase of five new water meters. The meters would replace current trailer park meters that fit improperly.

The council voted unanimously for an early payoff of the $35,000 debt for a snow plow. Village Clerk Paul Ralph explained that doing so would unfreeze $171,000 in CDs that the Village had borrowed against. They could then cash in the CDs and reissue them at a higher interest rate. The cost of the early payment and cashing in the CDs would be made up within one quarter by earning the higher interest.

Village Council President Dennis Peak indicated a desire to make changes to trustee appointments in April in order to spread out exposure and experience for the council. These appointments are made yearly. He also noted that the village crews have been taking advantage of the lack of snow to handle other jobs, including various clean up work. A budget work session was also announced, with the date of Saturday, February 18th at 9am decided upon by the council. 

Peak also announced the township cleanup day, to be held April 29th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., indicating that the event is always in need of volunteers for unloading assistance.