Columbiana will seek renewal of EMS levy

COLUMBIANA — An EMS levy renewal could be on the November election ballot this year.

City Council gave a first reading to legislation this week requesting from the county auditor the amount of revenue that would be generated from a renewal.

The 2-mill levy was last renewed five years ago, and if a renewal makes it to the ballot, it would also be a 2-mill, five-year levy, Finance Director Mike Harold said.

Harold had first told council in February that a renewal should be considered since the current one will expire at the end of this year. That levy generates roughly $250,000 a year for the department.

The renewal must be filed with the board of elections by August.

City residents are not billed for EMS services, although costs are billed to their insurance companies.

In February, Harold said the department intends to purchase two new cardiac monitors this year, although EMS Coordinator Tom Farley is seeking a FEMA grant that, if awarded, would fund about 95 percent of the $78,000 cost.

The city would be responsible for the remaining five percent.

According to the EMS monthly report approved by council on Tuesday, the department has had 511 requests for service from January to April, and 134 requests in April alone. Of the total requests, 27 were for standby for the fire department.

The calls are up compared to April of 2016, when the department averaged 88 calls that month. This year’s average monthly calls for April were at 134, according to the report.

The majority of the calls come in between 6 a.m. and noon.

In other business, council also approved:

— Giving first readings to legislation excluding the City of Salem, which approval would otherwise be required, for an alternate method of apportionment of local government fund monies to be distributed in 2018, and legislation approving a new alternate method of apportionment of local government fund monies to be distributed in 2018. (This is done annually. Salem is excluded due to having the largest population in the county.)

— Giving first readings to legislation authorizing City Manager Lance Willard to contract with Lyden Oil Company of Youngstown for the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel at a cost of $1.44 for unleaded, $1.46 and $1.18 for diesel, and contracting with Mid-Ohio Valley Lime Inc. of Marietta for the purchase of lime for the water plant, at $140 per ton.

— An emergency ordinance authorizing Willard to contract with Dunbar Asphalt Products of West Middlesex, Pa., for asphalt at a cost of $77.45 and $41.45 per unit, including mileage.

— An emergency ordinance terminating the contract with Craig Edward Susany Inc, due to the passage of the Feb. 18, 2017 deadline for the contract.