Plan for Rotterdam EMS laid out

After debating its options, the Town Board voted in February to fund its own EMS operation.

"There is no free ride," said Tommasone of the decision via e-mail. "It always looks great on paper, and the sound bites are inviting too. But ultimately, you can't restart an EMS system and expect the cost to be lower than what it is today if the privates go out of business or demand funding themselves in the future as it would be tremendously cost-prohibitive to rebuild the system we have today."

Under the proposal to be voted on in September, REMS will provide services to all properties located within the current municipal boundaries, and would serve approximately 28,316 people.

Currently, REMS obtains revenue through a combination of fees and local tax revenue. According to the report presented Aug. 12, the total estimated income for REMS in 2010 will be approximately $425,536. The town will provide the remaining revenue for the service, which will be approximately $232,528. However, the cost is subject to negotiation and can be amended by the town as long as it is in accordance with the contract. According to the 2009 Tax Roll Summary, the total assessed value of the property in the Town is approximately $2,416,329,490. Based on the annual cost of running REMS, a 10 cent per $1,000 rate will be established, meaning that a typical cost for a single family home that cost $165,000, for example, would cost $16.50 per year.

Joe VanDerwerker, president of REMS, was unavailable for comment.""

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