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Rotterdam set to vote on ambulance provider

Del Gallo continues push for ALS fees collected by REMS

The Rotterdam Town Board is scheduled to finally vote on an ambulance service provider after months of heated debate.

The decision is expected to take place at the Wednesday, May 11, board meeting after months of waiting. According to the agenda for the night, before the town makes a decision on the bid proposals from Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services and Mohawk Ambulance Service for a period of two years, they are expected to vote on a resolution allowing Supervisor Frank Del Gallo to negotiate reimbursement fees of advanced life support fees collected by REMS. If such an agreement can't be reached, legal action is recommended as the next step.

Councilwoman Nicola DiLeva said during the agenda meeting Monday, May 9, she was concerned about placing the reimbursement of ALS on the same agenda and directly before the bid selection is voted on. DiLeva said that if the town was going to try to recoup possible ALS fees from REMS, it should have been pursued before the contract is awarded.

Councilman Wayne Calder said he believes the bids should be voted on before voting on the reimbursement item, but Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski disagreed. Godlewski said he has heard through unofficial sources that the Office of the Attorney General might have begun looking into the REMS' collection of ALS fees that weren't handed over to the town. REMS Attorney Frank Salamone has said there was a verbal agreement with the previous administration that allowed REMS to retain those fees.

"We have been talking with the town attorney (David Devaprasad) and he is the one, after an hour talking about the pros and cons, who suggested that we have to demonstrate that we are just not going to say, 'Goodbye fees,' and we have to vote on that first," said Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski. "The key word is negotiate; we are not demanding."

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