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Emergency services vie to serve town

Town of Rotterdam officials are considering whether they want to continue using government-funded Rotterdam EMS for emergency medical services or switch to privately owned Mohawk Ambulance Service.

It's a complicated matter because the town can't just go out and decide we're going to forsake Rotterdam EMS and go with private industry, because private industry offers no guarantees, said Rotterdam Supervisor Steven Tommasone.

If the town continues using Rotterdam EMS, it will have to create a new taxing district. If it goes with Mohawk Ambulance Services, there will be no additional cost to taxpayers.

A decision could be made as early as this week, but Tommasone said it looks like the town will continue using Rotterdam EMS as their ambulance service.

"I don't speak for the entire board or for Mohawk Ambulance Service or Rotterdam EMS, but I can tell you who I do speak for, and that's the people in the town," said Tommasone. "When I see people around town they all tell me the same thing, which is resoundingly that they want to keep what we have, and they want to find a way for us to ensure that Rotterdam EMS can continue."

To continue using Rotterdam EMS, the town will have to create a special tax district similar to ones used for the fire department and other public safety departments.

There are no numbers yet on how much taxpayers would be charged, but, according to Tommasone, it will be minimal.

According to Tommasone, the majority of the board agrees that the town needs to fund its own EMS operation.

"What we'll do is we'll go through this year with a contract with Rotterdam EMS, and from there we'll establish a tax district and go through just as we do with our fire district or water district," said Tommasone.

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