WEST ELKTON — West Elkton Village Council discussed revisions to its EMS contract with the Village of Gratis at the council’s monthly meeting Monday, Aug. 12.
The village currently pays Gratis $1,800 a year for EMS service. Under the new contract presented by Gratis mayor David Johnston, that amount would increase to $2,300. Johnston also asked for an additional $12,000 from West Elkton’s EMS fund.
“You guys have a surplus there that we could sure use to keep us going,” Johnston said. Funds for Gratis EMS have been running low, according to Johnston, since the village purchased a new ambulance.
Councilman Gary Thompson suggested revising the $12,000 figure to allow the village to keep at least $2,300 in the EMS fund on a rolling basis, pending passage of a new EMS levy next year.
“I think we can handle the rate increase,” Thompson said. “But I don’t want to give you guys every single penny we bring in, in case something happens.”
West Elkton fiscal officer Venida Thompson advised Johnston that without approval from the county, the most they could give immediately from the EMS fund would be $2,500, as the additional payment to Gratis EMS was not in their 2019 budget. After council receives and reviews an updated version of the new contract agreement, Thompson said, it will be sent to a solicitor employed by the village for approval. Then an amended certificate will be prepared and sent to the county for approval.
Johnston asked council members to pursue that authorization as quickly as possible.
“To meet payroll on Aug. 22, we’re going to need some help,” Johnston said.
Gratis EMS Chief Joan Vance also attended the meeting. She thanked West Elkton council for considering their request.
“We’re blessed with a lot of good people,” Vance said of the village’s EMS staff.
A letter was distributed to residents of West Elkton last Friday concerning efforts to beautify the village. Council member Gary Thompson had presented a draft of the letter at the group’s June meeting. The letter informed residents that owners of properties felt to be in serious disrepair or in need of clean-up, as well as damaged or non-functioning vehicles left unattended on village streets, will be issued a 30-day notice before possibly receiving a citation.
“We’re hoping to inspire people to want to help out on their own, rather than coming on in an aggressive or condescending way,” Thompson said of the letter during June’s meeting.
Thompson also suggested mailing letters concerning other violations of village ordinances, including poorly maintained lawns and trash-burning.
Village council meetings take place the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the West Elkton Municipal Building, located at 135 N. Main St.