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South County EMS

South County seeks regional grant to offset ambulance service costs

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Since residents in southern Franklin County recently agreed to pay a combined $749,595 for a new South County ambulance service, the three town administrators are looking to offset some of that taxpayer cost.

Deerfield interim Town Administrator Wendy Foxmyn is working on an application to the Community Innovation Challenge grant program.

The town doesn’t know yet how much money it is applying for.

The application is due Nov. 22. Awards will be announced in February.

The grant would support the newly formed South County Emergency Medical Service, a regional 24/7 paramedic service shared by Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland.

The grant is typically used for small capital costs and one-time project management expenses.

While the regional EMS would compete with several collaborative municipal projects across the state, the town administrators have previously stated the South County EMS fits the parameters of the grant.

The program encourages regionalization based on the belief that the most important government actions happen at the local level.

The program was developed in 2012 by the Gov. Deval Patrick administration and has so far invested $6.25 million in 49 projects that involve 197 municipalities.

According to the state Executive Office of Administration and Finance, ideal projects include those with the potential for greatest impact, high levels of innovation and substantial potential cost savings.

Last month, townspeople in the three towns agreed to form the regional paramedic service.

If awarded, the grant could help offset some of the costs.

For the first six-month startup cost from January to June, Deerfield agreed to pay $255,488, Sunderland agreed to contribute $155,366 and Whately signed up for $82,735.

For the full year starting July 2014 to June 2015, Deerfield would pay $387,990, Sunderland would pay $235,972 and Whately would pay $125,632.

Deerfield taxpayers would pay $90.75 extra for an average home value of $275,000. There will be an additional 33 cents per $1,000 of valuation to the tax rate.

In Sunderland, the service would add 21 cents to the tax rate. The approximate annual impact for a $275,000 home is $57.75.

In Whately, the service would add 22 cents. The cost for a $275,000 home would be $60.50.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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