At the normally scheduled Baker County Commissioners meeting this morning the commissioners addressed the city decision to discontinue ambulance services within the city limits.
Baker City Council has communicated with the county that it cannot continue to provide ambulance services under the cities budget. The cities decision was primarily brought on by a substantial financial shortfall in the money necessary for providing ambulance services.
At this mornings meeting the commissioners said that the city has requested $137,000 to continue ambulance services through the end of the year, however the city has also stated that they have a $750,000 shortfall and that the level of service will be impacted. The county commissioners have stressed the need for the city to submit firm numbers to the commissioners stating the true financial need for the city to continue to offer combined fire and EMT services going forward.
The request of the commissioners comes at a time when the county is faced with the decision on whether to send out requests for proposals to privately operated ambulance service providers in the hope of obtaining a privately contracted ambulance service provider, or continue with negotiations with the city to cover more of the financial shortfall that the city is absorbing.
The commissioners agreed to offer $150,000 to the city in exchange for the city continuing ambulance service for one year, allowing the county more time to develop and implement a plan to replace the discontinued city ambulance service.
Local attending citizens at the meeting urged the county commissioners to do more to resume talks with the city to come up with a solution that would allow the city to continue services that would be better funded from the county.
The commissioners will allow for further public discussion at the next publicly scheduled commissioners meeting set for April 20, 2022 at 9am.
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