***Monday, September 16, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

Commissioners said the opening invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to amend the agenda for tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. to include a hardship exemption application, and for 1:30 p.m., to include a meeting with Sheriff Greg Sprungl to discuss inmate housing. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

9:00 a.m., Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall joined the meeting to give the departmental report. Mr. Gutshall did not submit a written report. Mr. Gutshall discussed working on the second culvert on Pleasant Valley Road by Highway 95. Signs were put up for road closures and detours.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code #67-2345(1)b, to consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, or public school student. Commissioner Kirby second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye” and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. 9:25 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. No action was taken.

 

Commissioners and Mr. Gutshall discussed signs the county could use to provide notice that the snowmobile park will be closed while being logged. Sheriff Sprungl will need to notify the people staying at the park, according to Chairman Dinning.

 

The meeting with Mr. Gutshall ended at 9:27 a.m.

 

Commissioners discussed the proposed City County Dispatch Agreement.

 

9:30 a.m., Courthouse Maintenance Jerry Kothe met with Commissioners to provide a departmental report. Mr. Kothe presented a written report. Mr. Kothe contacted the roofer and this company’s insurance certificate has been provided to the county. Mr. Kothe said he moved some furniture from the jury room, and some of it was transferred to the museum.

 

Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker joined the meeting.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to authorize loaning old county book cases to the museum. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.  

 

Mr. Kothe said soccer season is over so he picked up some of the soccer goals, and he provided a roof cap for the area at Riverside Park. Clerk Poston informed Mr. Kothe the courtroom needs two shelves for items associated with video conferencing purposes. Chairman Dinning talked to Mr. Kothe about applying fertilizer and seed to the county ball fields.

 

9:35 a.m., Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Volunteer Alan Hamilton joined the meeting.

 

The meeting with Mr. Kothe ended at 9:40 a.m.

 

Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady joined the meeting 9:44 a.m.

 

Commissioners reviewed claims for payment. Fund totals are as follows:

 

Current Expense                                   $31,179.75

Road & Bridge                                      88,313.54

Airport                                                     3,991.87

District Court                                           5,406.05

Justice Fund                                            32,030.60

911 Funds                                                 1,077.52

Indigent & Charity                                   2,710.23

Parks and Recreation                                9,807.88

Revaluation                                               1,157.47

Solid Waste                                             10,028.50

Veterans Memorial                                         72.39

Weeds                                                     19,560.79

County EMS                                                169.54

Restorium                                                  9,860.80

Snowmobile                                              3,000.00

Waterways                                                   128.60

Grant, Emergency Communication          3,600.00

 

                          TOTAL                    $222,095.53

Trusts

Auditor’s Trust                                       10,040.83

Driver’s License Trust                               7,871.00

Magistrate Trust                                      30,889.59

Motor Vehicle Trust                              100,215.52

Sheriff’s Trust                                              856.77

 

                        TOTAL                      $149,873.71

                       

                        GRAND TOTAL     $371,969.24

 

Citizens are invited to inspect detailed records on file in the Courthouse (individual claims & Commissioners’ allowance & warrant register record 2013).

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve the following Title VI documents: Boundary County Title VI Information for All Employees 2013, Boundary County Application for Employment, Boundary County Employee Encounter of Limited English Proficiency Survey, Discrimination Complaint Procedure, and the Boundary County Environmental Justice Consideration Areas. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the Contract for Law Enforcement Services with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the Business Associate Agreement/Addendum with Boundary Community Hospital. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. Clerk’s Note: This is for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

 

9:50 a.m., Commissioners spoke to Brad Niemeyer with JUB Engineering via telephone regarding the Federal Aviation Administration  (FAA) grant offer.

 

Commissioners said they had received the grant offer, but Attorney Tevis Hull had a question about the amount of the request and offer. Commissioners said the county is under the impression there may be a reduction in the local match portion.

 

Mr. Niemeyer said Attorney Hull is working on the purchase and sale agreement with Roxanne Grimm of Epic Land Solutions, and he is working with the electrical company for Bonners Ferry and Northern Lights for coordination agreements. Mr. Niemeyer said he’s had success from the City of Bonners Ferry and they will get him draft easement language. Northern Lights Inc. has the draft agreements, but they will have the agreements reviewed by their legal counsel so he’s waiting for response from them.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the Federal Aviation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Project #3-16-0004-012-2013. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 

 

The phone call with Mr. Niemeyer ended at 9:55 a.m.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to adopt Resolution 2013-36. A resolution increasing the Weeds Fund budget due to receipt of unanticipated revenue. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. Resolution #2013-36 reads as follows:

 

RESOLUTION 2013-36

 

INCREASING THE WEEDS FUND BUDGET

DUE TO RECEIPT OF UNANTICIPATED REVENUE

               

                WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, County of Boundary, State of Idaho, did establish an operating budget for the Boundary County Weeds Fund for fiscal year 2012-2013, and

 

                WHEREAS, unanticipated funds have been received from the United States Department of Agriculture in the amount of $20,000.00 as a grant from Title II Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) funds to be used to purchase a pickup for the Weeds Department, and

 

                WHEREAS, the Boundary County Weeds Fund is in need of additional revenue for fiscal year 2012-2013, and

 

                WHEREAS, the addition of this revenue does not affect the tax levy for Boundary County, and

 

                WHEREAS, it is appropriate to increase the Boundary County Weeds Budget Revenue Account Number 27-00-0324-0010 and the Weeds Budget Expense Account Number 27-00-899-00, Capital - Other, in the amount of $20,000.00 to be used to purchase a pickup for the Weeds Department, and

 

NOW THEREFORE, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried,

 

                IT IS RESOLVED, that the increase to the Boundary County Weeds Budget Revenue Account Number 27-00-0324-0010 and the Weeds Budget Expense Account Number 27-00-899-00, Capital - Other, in the amount of $20,000.00 is hereby authorized and ordered, and

 

                IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk is instructed to deliver certified copies of this resolution to the Boundary County Treasurer and the Boundary County Auditor.

 

                DATED this 16th day of September, 2013

                                                                                                COUNTY OF BOUNDARY

                                                                                                BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                                                                                                s/_____________________________              

                                                                                                Dan R. Dinning, Chairman

                                                                                                s/_____________________________                     

                                                                                                LeAlan L. Pinkerton, Commissioner

                                                                                                s/_____________________________                      

                                                                                                Walt Kirby, Commissioner

ATTEST:

s/__________________________________________________                   

Glenda Poston, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners

Recorded as instrument #258766

 

10:00 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to recess as the Boundary County Board of Commissioners and convene as the Governing Board of the Boundary County Ambulance Service District. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the Ambulance Service District minutes of August 19, 2013. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to adjourn as the Governing Board of Boundary County Ambulance Service District and reconvene as the Boundary County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. 

 

Commissioners tended to administrative duties.

 

10:20 a.m., Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee joined the meeting. Ms. Magee presented Commissioners with the Restorium’s handwritten account ledger. Ms. Magee said the Quickbooks program is updated, but she will need assistance in one area. Commissioners discussed hiring a bookkeeper for the Restorium’s accounts receivable. Ms. Magee will talk to Eldora Gatchell about bookkeeping matters.

 

Chairman Dinning said when there is a room at the Restorium that is vacant, is it usually not filled because there isn’t an appropriate gender for the room due to the rules of the restrooms. Ms. Magee said it can be various reasons. Ms. Magee said there are more females than males at the Restorium. Commissioners requested a completed account summary for this fiscal year by October 1, 2013. Chairman Dinning asked if there is still a chance to make the mistake by having someone tell a resident how much their rent will be if they’re a Medicaid resident. Ms. Magee said that issue has been corrected.

 

Those present discussed whether or not the county has a use for the vehicle donated to the Restorium or to put it up for auction.

 

Ms. Magee said she’s found a new bath tub for the Restorium so she filled out a credit application for the purchase. Chairman Dinning asked how long it takes to upgrade a room. Ms. Magee said about three weeks. Commissioners and Ms. Magee discussed room improvements that have been made and that still need to be made.

 

The meeting with Ms. Magee ended at 10:55 a.m.

 

11:00 a.m., Kyle Flory and Rob Tenas of Kyle and Rob Productions joined the meeting. Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas said they’ve started recording music from Tom Kitchen that happens to be about Boundary County and is also nature related. Mr. Flory said he and Mr. Tenas will go through everything they have filmed and they hope to have filming done this week, if not by the beginning of the next week. Mr. Flory said he requested on Facebook that people provide their comments on Boundary County.

 

Those present discussed donations for the documentary and Mr. Flory mentioned the possibility of another presentation before Rotary. Commissioner Pinkerton suggested Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas talk to David Sims, and Mr. Flory said they’ve thought about interviewing him. Commissioner Pinkerton said Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas need to find a way to raise more funds or sponsorships. Mr. Flory asked if Commissioners have specific plans for the documentary when it’s completed. Commissioner Kirby said the Economic Development Committee is having a meeting today at noon so he will ask that Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas be given a few minutes to explain the project. Chairman Dinning said the purpose of the documentary is to promote the community and the lifestyle.

 

The meeting with Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas ended at 11:20 a.m.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go forward and provide notice the snowmobile park will be closed temporarily for safety reasons due to logging the premises, but a date has not yet been set. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.  

 

11:30 a.m., Commissioners opened requests for proposals for ambulance service. Three requests for proposals were received; one from Willard Protsman of Boundary Ambulance, LLC, one from Ken Baker with Boundary Volunteer Ambulance, and the third request is from Steve Groom with Newport Ambulance Service. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have set time on the agenda for tomorrow to review the requests for proposals at 10:00 a.m., and Commissioners will ask that a representative from each ambulance company be available in person or over the phone to ask or answer any questions that may come up.

 

The meeting to open requests for proposals for ambulance service ended.

 

There being no further business, the meeting recessed until tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. 

 

***Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

9:00 a.m., Commissioners held an elected officials/department heads meeting. Present were: Solid Waste Department Superintendent Claine Skeen, Courthouse Maintenance  Jerry Kothe, Clerk Glenda Poston, Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac, Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee, Prosecutor’s Office Manager Tammie Goggia, Treasurer Jenny Fessler, Extension Office Educator Carol Hampton, Assessor Dave Ryals, Road and Bridge Assistant Superintendent Ken Arthur, Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall, County Noxious Weeds Supervisor Duke Guthrie, and Planning and Zoning Administrator Dan Studer.

 

Commissioners informed those present that Commissioners are moving forward with determining ambulance services.

 

Chairman Dinning said it’s tempting at the end of the budget year to spend, but please be conservative with the remaining year’s budget.

 

There is still an Idaho Counties Risk Management Program online training course to complete. Once a certain percentage of employees complete this training the county will receive a 5% reduction in insurance premiums, which is equal to approximately $9,000 to $10,000 in savings to the county.

 

Commissioners have hired Kyle Flory and Rob Tenas to film a documentary on Boundary County’s community and assets, and Commissioners hope to see the film soon. Commissioner Kirby said Greg Siebert with the Idaho Department of Commerce has offered to help with marketing.

 

Commissioners asked those around the room if they had any department updates. Mr. Skeen said metal will be baled at $161 per ton owed to the county. Mr. Kothe said he’s getting ready for fall work. Chairman Dinning asked those present to look around their offices as far as any maintenance needs. Mr. Gutshall said the emergency projects were awarded, but they will be late projects. Ms. Hampton said the Extension Office is back to full staff now. Mr. Guthrie said he has started winterizing some of the weed sprayers, and he has received the new truck for the Weeds Department. Clerk Poston said budgets have been submitted and nothing negative has come in.  

 

Clerk Poston discussed the look back period for part time hours as it pertains to the new health care program. The county’s insurance plan won’t be implemented until January 2015, but the look back plan starts January 2014. If a part time employee were to reach 30 hours per week once in awhile, but mainly works less than 30 hours, that wouldn’t be considered a qualifying factor, according to Clerk Poston. The county will have to implement the reduction of part time hours in January 2014.

 

Chairman Dinning said it appears the new Forest Plan draft will come out in a few weeks. Mr. Studer said he had worked on that plan about 12 years ago when working for the Forest Service. Chairman Dinning said the Idaho Panhandle National Forest will be first in the nation to use this plan.

 

Chairman Dinning discussed holidays off for November and December. The extra holiday days off are gone so the county will fall back to the normal holiday schedule and a memo on this will be distributed to full-time employees.

 

The elected officials/department heads meeting ended at 9:20 a.m.

 

9:30 a.m., Commissioners considered a hardship exemption application submitted by Ernie Smith. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, and Treasurer Jenny Fessler. Chairman Dinning administered the oath to Mr. Smith. The meeting was recorded. 

 

An extension of time to pay taxes was mentioned. Mr. Smith explained that he will be looking to get back to work. Mr. Smith discussed the accident he was in that has caused him to be unable to work. The property with delinquent taxes is Mr. Smith’s home and Ms. Smith is the only family member working at the moment. Commissioners reviewed the Smith’s assets and expenses and said the income runs at a negative. Mr. Smith asked for an extension on his taxes and to have a review of his situation in the future.

 

Treasurer Fessler said this is the tax year the county would be tax deeding in March 2014. Commissioners considered a nine month extension for Mr. Smith’s year 2010 property taxes. Mr. Smith said he would know more of his situation after having an MRI done.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to grant a nine month extension of time to pay year 2010 taxes for parcel RP60N01W135414A. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Treasurer Fessler informed Commissioners that interest won’t stop accruing.

 

The meeting to consider the hardship exemption application filed by Mr. Smith ended at 9:35 a.m.

 

9:45 a.m., Clerk Poston presented Commissioners with the L-1 Report that lists the county levy rates.

 

Clerk Poston said three bookcases that used to hold red binders have been transferred to the museum. These bookcases are still county property, but they will stay at the museum.

 

Clerk Poston presented Commissioners with the addendum to the contract with Computer Arts. Clerk Poston informed Commissioners the amount of hours the county is requesting from Computer Arts has been changed and the cost is covered in the budget.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the Computer Arts Inc. contract addendums. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.  

 

Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals and Attorney Tevis Hull joined the meeting at 9:55 a.m.

 

10:00 a.m., Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go into closed session under Idaho Code 31-874. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 10:02 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to approve indigent application 2013-36 as per the Clerk’s recommendation. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Clerk Glenda Poston, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker, and Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady joined the meeting at 10:02 a.m.

 

Deputy Clerk Ryals left the meeting.

 

10:02 a.m., Commissioners said for the following meeting to discuss the requests for proposals for ambulance service Commissioners will also be in the capacity of the Governing Board of the County’s Ambulance Service District.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to convene as the Governing Board of the Ambulance Service District. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.  

 

Chairman Dinning said the requests for proposals were pretty straight forward. The cost proposed by Boundary Ambulance LLC is $230,000, but they have no medical director at this point in time. Newport Ambulance Service’s proposal lists required Ambulance District funding at $119,490, but also mentioned a District Balance of a higher amount so that information will need to be clarified. Chairman Dinning said Newport Ambulance also provided information that clears up four separate tax liens filed by the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Chairman Dinning said Boundary Volunteer Ambulance (BVA) has been in existence for awhile. The funding will consist of the levy minus $80,000. A cover letter is included and it states BVA is not waiving its rights from negotiations. BVA’s letter also indicates they think they have a contract with Boundary County as of July 2012, which also mentions an invitation to negotiate between the parties. There were items agreed to by both parties, but there are also disagreements to other details. A multi-year contract is mentioned, but what is considered multi-year is a question. Points of negotiations with BVA are also funding for the following year. The last counter offer is consistent to BVA’s proposal on page 6, but Commissioners need to go into executive session to discuss that as Attorney Hull needs to respond.

 

Chairman Dinning said going forward one proposal provides advanced life support (ALS) and the two other proposals provide basic life support (BLS). Attorney Hull said the other component of BVA’s bid is immediate service. Chairman Dinning said this issue may run into a time crunch so would it be best for Commissioners to, no matter who provides the service, plagiarize a contract.

 

Boundary Volunteer Ambulance EMT Alan Hamilton joined the meeting at 10:15 a.m.

 

Chairman Dinning said two of the organizations that submitted proposals have offered to open their books. Attorney Hull said that can be discussed with the ambulance service contacts this afternoon.

 

Mr. Baker, Mr. Hamilton, and Ms. Roady left the meeting.

 

10:20 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code 67-2345(1) a, to consider hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, and f, to communicate with legal counsel for the public agency to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, or controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye” and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. 11:00 a.m. Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. No action was taken.

 

11:00 a.m., Commissioner Pinkerton moved to adjourn as the Governing Board of the Ambulance Service District. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.   

 

11:05 a.m., Treasurer Jenny Fessler and property owner Pamela McCay joined the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the hardship exemption application filed by Ms. McCay. The meeting was recorded.

 

Chairman Dinning administered the oath to Ms. McCay. Ms. McCay said the property taxes in question are for her main residence, but she lives temporarily in town as she is on probation and wouldn’t be able to walk from her home in Naples. The property in town is owned by someone who understood her dilemma so she was allowed to stay in the home while the owner was getting it ready to sell it.

 

Chairman Dinning read that between the two properties Ms. McCay owns she pays $1,000 per month.  Commissioners reviewed Ms. McCay’s expenses and income. Ms. McCay mentioned she was trying to locate work, but she wasn’t able to work while she was married. It was said the taxes for the other parcel of property are also delinquent, but only as far back as year 2011. Taxes being addressed for this application are for year 2010 and total $408.02. The tax deed process would start this October, 2013, according to Chairman Dinning.

 

Ms. McCay said she is looking for partial forgiveness for year 2010 taxes. Chairman Dinning asked if Ms. McCay would be able to pay the taxes if given an extension. Ms. McCay said she could possibly pay $75 per month. Chairman Dinning asked Ms. McCay if she has thought of selling the other parcel. Ms. McCay said it had sentimental value to her, her kids, and her now deceased husband. Ms. McCay said she has applied for jobs at the various grocery stores in town.

 

Chairman Dinning asked if interest would still accrue if Commissioners set up payment plan. Treasurer Fessler said yes. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners would like Ms. McCay to pay what she can afford. Ms. McCay said if she gets a job, could she pay $25 per month toward the other property as well.  

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to accept monthly payments of $75 per month towards payment of year 2010 taxes for parcel #RP61N01W238842A. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting to consider the hardship exemption application for parcel #RP61N01W238842A ended at 11:26 a.m.  

 

Commissioners recessed for lunch at noon.

 

1:30 p.m., Commissioners met for the afternoon session with Chairman Dinning, Commissioner Pinkerton, Commissioner Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

1:35 p.m., Sheriff Greg Sprungl and Chief Deputy Sheriff Rich Stephens joined the meeting to discuss the budget for inmate housing. Sheriff Sprungl said out of town housing for inmates has become less and less available. Clerk Poston reviewed budget and said the amount budgeted for juvenile housing in Bonner County is $50,000. Sheriff Sprungl said if he has to move juveniles out, he will and will pay for that out of juvenile housing costs.

 

The meeting with Sheriff Sprungl and Chief Deputy Sheriff Stephens ended at 1:43 p.m.

 

2:00 p.m., Commissioners held a meeting with Willard Protsman of Boundary Ambulance LLC to review Boundary Ambulance LLC’s request for proposal to provide ambulance service. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker.

 

Mr. Protsman informed Commissioners of his history working in emergency medical services for Westside Fire District in Dover and how he ended up EMS Director for them working on 911 calls and inter-facility transfers. Mr. Protsman said he worked for Westside Fire District for five years and he has six years of EMS experience. Chairman Dinning said he is aware that Mr. Protsman is attempting to obtain an EMS license. Chairman Dinning asked how billing would be provided. Mr. Protsman said billing would be done by EMS Billing out of Omaha, Nebraska.

 

Mr. Protsman said his initial plan was to seek out volunteers currently serving the county as it would hurt to bring in new volunteers and orientate them to what is going on. The amount of revenue that can be generated by county dollars is not enough to run a full time fully staffed 911 system. Mr. Protsman said the current ambulance service has volunteers and he thinks they are on a stipend, but he’s not sure. Mr. Protsman said based on his experience a basic EMS transport service can run strictly on its own private billing. The only time an EMS service would run into issues is what the county’s stipulations are as far as a contract. Are transports placed on every call, even though they may not be medically viable? Is there just a transport from “here to there” just so a person can get an x-ray? That is not medically viable. Would the EMS service be required to provide that service for every call? That would cause the profit margin to decline, according to Mr. Protsman. Mr. Protsman said in a medically viable billable service let the individual service take it, but for the calls that are not medically viable, which would be documented, he would try to contract with the county for the operations cost of that transport. The operations cost would include fuel, attendants and a bit of maintenance. Commissioner Kirby said in his mind no one is ready to make that call. Chairman Dinning said it isn’t that the ambulance service won’t respond as they would, but they would bill the county for that time. Mr. Protsman said first is the attempt to bill the individual, but if the patient is along the lines of indigent, there is nothing the ambulance service can do. If the ambulance service has the ability to refuse or if they are liable for every call, that is for Commissioners to decide. Chairman Dinning questioned if all or a majority of the EMT’s would come from the local pool. Mr. Protsman said he’s talked to one person so far and he’s been referred to Mr. Baker.

 

Mr. Protsman said he anticipates obtaining the license to operate in 30 days maximum, but that is just the EMS license. Mr. Protsman said it is hard to start up on a moment’s notice and he has no medical director as of yet. The transport license is obtainable and that would take approximately 60 days. Mr. Protsman said due to Obamacare credentialing has been pushed back about six months. Commissioner Pinkerton said in about 60 days Boundary Ambulance LLC. could be on the ground and running with a license and medical director. Mr. Protsman said yes. Commissioners asked who else is involved with Boundary Ambulance, LLC. There is only one other person, according to Mr. Protsman.

 

Chairman Dinning said there seems to be willingness to share data so the county would be looking for some form of billings, call volume and details for tracking. Mr. Protsman said it’s a contractual working relationship. Mr. Protsman said he couldn’t come in and ask for $40,000, have Commissioners ask why and say just because he wants that amount.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton asked where Mr. Protsman stands as far as a team aspect or role of other parts of EMS such as fire, police, disaster, etc. Mr. Protsman said ambulance service should fill a niche, every agency has a job to do and so does an ambulance service. Mr. Protsman said you can’t lose the core service as that is when expenses start to expenses. Ambulance service needs to stay in their role.

 

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners are being educated in this matter. Could an ambulance service bill for extrication if that service is provided? Mr. Protsman said an individual insurance company would have to be billed. Commissioner Pinkerton asked about the core objective for ambulance service and it was said it’s to respond to the call, arrive to the scene, render assistance and aid, and provide transport. If it’s anything beyond that, it’s beyond the scope of what is being asked to do.

 

Mr. Protsman mentioned Boundary Ambulance LLC., has an additional line of credit for the service.

 

Mr. Protsman said he has heard the county has a spare ambulance. Commissioner Pinkerton said that is something he would be willing to entertain. Mr. Protsman said he could secure a third ambulance. Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Protsman if he had looked into the number of calls. Mr. Protsman said he has heard of about 400 calls, but he hasn’t received firm figures. Commissioners said if two vehicles go to the same scene, it’s considered one run. Mr. Protsman said that was correct. Mr. Protsman said he’s looking at $125,000 in wages, $10,800 in fuel and supplies close to $2,000 for the year. Mr. Protsman said it’s hard to determine the cost of a run because you don’t know the location of the call, but some figures are easy to determine. Mr. Protsman said he’s feels it’s $130 per run to stipend the volunteers on the call. Mr. Protsman said that scenario has worked out in the past.    

 

Chairman Dinning asked how billing is broken down such as a certain amount for runs, plus mileage, etc. Mr. Protsman said there are formulas for mileage determined, supplies used, procedures performed and based on who and what, the time of year, numbers are crunched and the billers say this is what will be paid for that run. As far as a percentage billings received are 71% to 73% on the return and that was for critical care transports for inter-facility transports.

 

Chairman Dinning asked about the relationship with Bonner County EMS and Westside Fire. Mr. Protsman said those two agencies contract now. Those present have discussed the benefit of having a local EMS provider reach a patient. Mr. Protsman said he has no medical certifications as he has let them lapse, and because he had no affiliation and continuing education he couldn’t get certification. Mr. Protsman said he has been an EMS instructor for the state up until last year. Commissioner Pinkerton asked how long it would take to re-certify, and Mr. Protsman said he could re-certify to fill in if there is a need. Mr. Protsman said he believes it’s still approximately 80 hours for a basic EMT class and he doesn’t see a problem securing that. Chairman Dinning asked if Mr. Protsman has a plan for expanding the number of EMT’s. Mr. Protsman said he had thought about working with fire fighters and getting them EMT status. Mr. Protsman said he’s looking for local personnel. Commissioners asked Mr. Protsman what the response time was when he was with Westside Fire. Mr. Protsman said the boiler plate agreement with fire departments is they agree to respond to all ALS calls, non-transport, and they just render first responder assistance. Chairman Dinning asked about response time. Mr. Protsman said that wasn’t in the standard contract, but in most instances, the goal was to keep time down to two minutes, but that will not happen with volunteers. Mr. Protsman said when you bring in volunteers they are kind of considered for a 1099 provider, but if volunteers are required to stay there, they fall under the Department of Labor and considered employees.

 

2:35 p.m., Kelsey Rice and Casady Brimhall with Riverstone Billing, and Boundary County Emergency Services Director Dave Kramer joined the meeting.

 

Mr. Protsman said if he starts to get an idea of where the best volunteers are and where the best response times are, he could start planning on pre-positioning apparatus to shorten response times. Mr. Protsman said based on rough numbers having the entire $230,000 and with a line of credit, the service could be started. The service would run as much as possible against the numbers and at the end of the first year, if billings are coming in as projected, the amount of $230,000 isn’t really needed that next year as the ambulance service should start bringing in the revenue from billing. That way what is absolutely not needed for the next year stays with the county. If the funding is not needed, don’t pay it, according to Mr. Protsman. Commissioner Pinkerton said the levy amount of $230,000 is primarily the vision to get over that first hump in that first year. Mr. Protsman said yes. Then there can be the prediction of what revenues are needed and what billings will come in. Commissioner Kirby said internally the ambulance service personnel have to be willing to adjust as things change. Mr. Protsman said both parties should be able to sit down and have a reasonable conversation, and as long as the dialogue is there, solutions are there.

 

Mr. Protsman discussed scheduling volunteers and he said in the past priority responders beginning with volunteers were determined such as who can work on specific days, etc.

 

Commissioners said they didn’t know exactly when they would make a decision, but notices will go out to the providers of the requests for proposals.

 

The meeting with Mr. Protsman ended at 3:00 p.m.

 

3:00 p.m., Commissioners met with Boundary Volunteer Ambulance (BVA) President Ken Baker and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board member Brian Strong to discuss the request for proposal submitted by BVA. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Willard Protsman, Boundary County Emergency Services Director Dave Kramer, and Casady Brimhall, and Kelsey Rice with Riverstone Billing. The meeting was recorded. Chairman Dinning thanked BVA for their efforts in preparing the request for proposal. 

 

Chairman Dinning asked for an explanation on BVA’s need for $250,000 for each the second and third years’ operation. Mr. Strong said BVA presented a proposal for a three year contract based on the agreement dated July 2012. BVA has reached out to Jeff Perkins, former COO for Boundary Community Hospital and he was hired as a consultant to double check BVA’s business plan. Mr. Perkins reviewed the figures and once all expenses were reviewed it was determined the amount needed to operate the business were the amounts listed in the proposal. Getting into the normal operation costs, etc., is where the numbers end up. President Baker said this is based on audits done by Leonard Schulte. It was mentioned the billables are unknown.

 

Mr. Strong said from the historical prospective there has been 47 years of history and that set of data as far as operational costs based on experiences, that amount is where BVA is at. Mr. Strong mentioned labor costs, equipment purchases and operational costs were reviewed by Mr. Perkins and Riverstone Billing has been providing their billing services to BVA since 2008. The collection rate is not 100% so bringing in Riverstone Billing is to ensure maximizing collections. Mr. Baker mentioned he has a staff member who is working on obtaining their billing certification. The ambulance service is not a huge profit making machine and that is not the motive of a 501c3. The motive is to provide service to Boundary County. Chairman Dinning said in the request there is no profit margin. Mr. Strong said no, they’re talking about expenses and talking about ambulances, repeater systems and talking about continued maintenance and replacement.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said page 10 takes about coverage. This page states BVA will provide a minimum of three ambulances and 45 volunteers. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if there is a cost per volunteer. Mr. Strong said there is not a cost per volunteer as it depends on what the run situation is. If there is a run and 10 volunteers show up, they split a stipend 10 ways so it depends on the number of volunteers who show up. Mr. Strong said BVA’s intention is to put on board a full time staff so people like Mr. Baker can be on a 24/7 schedule. There will be primary members to go to and volunteers to fill in. Commissioner Pinkerton referred to full time staffing and Mr. Strong said there is one full time chief/administrator and three part time staff members currently and the intention is to bring on two crews of four full time employees. It’s looking at the EMT position and BVA pursuing advanced life support abilities. Mr. Baker is the administrator, but he is also everything else so the hope is to take someone like Mr. Baker as a full time EMT. Mr. Strong mentioned putting Mr. Baker on 25 hours per week and 15 hours could be working administratively, training, grants or maintenance. The problem is that Mr. Baker does everything and he can’t continue to do that. If BVA could bring on an additional person like Mr. Baker, BVA could utilize that person for various roles, according to Mr. Strong. Then bring in a crew to fill those peak times. Mr. Strong said it can be difficult during the day to respond.

 

Mr. Baker said there are 45 volunteers to draw from and as the county is so wide the call volume is pretty well central so there would be staffing to run the main core area. Commissioner Pinkerton said for clarity BVA is looking to increase fulltime employees from one to four. Mr. Strong said he knows Mr. Baker has evaluated specific call time per volunteers such as having three squads of 15 to cover a certain number of hours or days and those crews would be rotated. Commissioners asked how staffing levels are scheduled now. Mr. Baker said the core groups takes turns. The core group consists of eight people and they are located centrally, have more experience and they are supported by the other volunteers. Half of the volunteers are already fire fighters/EMT’s and the other half will have to decide on one or the other. Mr. Baker explained that he is also a fire fighter.

 

Chairman Dinning said of the billables, what is the average received per year. Ms. Brimhall said it depends on what insurance company is being billed. When Riverstone Billing receives a claim it’s based on what insurance company the patient has or if the patient even has insurance so it just depends. Medicaid is a lower rate. If there are more Medicare or Blue Cross insurance claims, there will be higher collections for that month. Ms. Brimhall said if the patient doesn’t have insurance, the information has to be obtained on how to locate the patient. Riverstone Billing provides the billing service so is that a seamless interaction. Mr. Baker said the first billing goes out by Riverstone Billing. Ms. Rice mentioned entering the service charges and sending the claim to the insurance company using the addresses they have.

 

Mr. Strong said Riverstone Billing makes the first attempts at billing for the first four months and they notify BVA of their efforts. BVA will take the next steps and has set up a Paypal account and make final efforts to collect. Then afterwards alternatives are sought to include small claims court if it’s reasonable to do so. If the collection company, Chapman Financial Services fails, the amount owed will be written off. Commissioners asked how many accounts have had to involve small claims court. Mr. Baker said he didn’t have that information.

 

BVA said there are currently five ambulances, one reserve and a combination rescue ambulance so there are seven response vehicles and one reserve. Mr. Strong said they are all owned solely and only by BVA and they are not attached to grants. Mr. Baker spoke of recently going through the state certification process, having the mass casualty trailer that belongs to the county and having invested in the communication system to further communication in the county.

 

Mr. Baker spoke of having a contractual agreement with fire departments for BVA’s units. Mr. Strong said it’s BVA’s intention is to have a new frontline ambulance every three years as there are a number of older vehicles in BVA’s fleet with the newest year vehicle being 2008. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if there is a mileage threshold for BVA’s vehicles. Mr. Strong and Mr. Baker said not currently. Mr. Strong talked about how long various vehicles can be run. Mr. Baker said BVA is trying to upgrade to having more 4-wheel drives in its fleet. It was mentioned the goal is to have seven emergency vehicles and a three year replacement system. Mr. Strong said the cost is $150,000 for a chassis so in total a unit is approximately $200,000.

 

BVA EMT Jacob Bushnell joined the meeting at 3:30 p.m.

 

Mr. Strong mentioned looking for an ambulance unit that is two or three years old as it’s better than BVA’s current situation. Mr. Strong said BVA has also contemplated leasing a unit so units are always rotating out, but the Board is still questioning if that is the good way to go.

 

Mr. Kramer said vehicles are offered through state grants as several local counties are being funded for them. Mr. Baker said BVA has applied for an ambulance about three or so years in the running and they’ve obtained letters of support for them. Mr. Strong spoke of dedicating time for grant work.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton asked where BVA sits within the EMS system team atmosphere and the outlook for the future. Mr. Baker said he has fire service background and five years ago he became part of the Fire Chief’s Association. Mr. Baker said fire fighters provide back-up for the EMT’s and they can provide first responder service. Commissioner Pinkerton mentioned BVA applying for a grant for extraction equipment, and Mr. Baker said there are some legal matters as far as crossing into the fire associations. Mr. Baker said he’s a fire fighter/EMT so often BVA will supply the equipment and fire fighters provide the manpower. Mr. Baker spoke of using the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which is mandated. Mr. Strong said from the EMS standpoint, part of EMS is vehicle extrication and BVA has filled that void as not all fire departments have extrication capabilities or the capability that BVA has created. The fire departments that have extrication equipment are limited.

 

Mr. Baker spoke of working with Search and Rescue, the Sheriff’s posse, etc. Commissioner Pinkerton said asked how BVA bills for extrication. Mr. Baker said billing for extrication is through vehicle insurance. Mr. Strong said typically extrication wouldn’t be billed at all. Mr. Baker said the goal is to get more fire fighter/EMT’s involved and trying to build a team.

 

Chairman Dinning asked if the county and BVA entered into an agreement, would they be willing to provide call details, etc., on a quarterly basis as well as provide financial accountability from within their organization. Mr. Strong said that is already happening as BVA has a different board. There is accountability from a board level on what funds are designated for and what equipment BVA’s Board feels is prudent to spend on. Mr. Strong said those records are maintained currently. Commissioners asked if BVA would provide that information on a quarterly basis on a contract as well as be open with their finances. Mr. Strong said he would have to defer to BVA’s counsel about that.

 

Chairman Dinning said there is a sense of the role for fire fighters. It was said BVA is trying to bring more fire fighters in to help take the extrication role, and BVA can provide equipment and fire departments can provide manpower. It was said Mr. Baker can help further relationships with the fire service. Mr. Strong said in his world fire fighters are supposed to provide extrication services. Chairman Dinning asked if BVA see itself transitioning its role. Commissioner Pinkerton said from his point of view, the purpose of an ambulance service is medical, and if that team building role is not in place already, that is a failure. Mr. Strong said it’s an absolute necessity to get fire departments on board. Mr. Strong discussed a fire association’s inability to provide certain duties and the potential for liability, and he said those matters just need to be worked through. Commissioner Pinkerton said that should be the entire community’s focus.

 

Commissioners said they’ve learned a lot today that would’ve been nice to have learned months ago, and they wanted to know as far as pricing, if the cost to the taxpayer would be reduced over time. Commissioner Pinkerton spoke of the cost of equipment and having other emergency responding entities focus on other duties and the reduction of costs associated with that. Mr. Strong said as far as reducing costs with that premise, the request for proposal is about EMS and it’s really EMS driven. Mr. Strong said costs wouldn’t change if extrication was removed so there probably wouldn’t be any changes. Commissioner Kirby said this has drifted from basic ambulance service to how it will be done, and rope climbing, extrication, etc., so this has gotten off track. Mr. Strong said understood, but it’s a complex issue and this helps reveal the different deficiencies out there.

 

Mr. Strong said to wrap up the request for proposal, one area is medical direction and the accountability side. Dr. Willis is already integrated with BVA so he’s in-tuned to the system as a whole.

 

Chairman Dinning said for $250,000 per year what is this community going to see change in BVA? Mr. Strong said the community will see validation of resources they have in that, newer reliable vehicles, a service that is more available, and paid staffing. BVA is already remarkable as its members make it up. Mr. Strong said BVA will be able to improve its equipment so they don’t have a catastrophic breakdown and they will ensure someone will respond in a timelier manner. Those are the two major components; equipment and people, according to Mr. Strong.

 

Commissioner Kirby said it’s his opinion that BVA has done a pretty good job over the years. BVA is licensed well and trained as well as can be with time limitations. Commissioner Kirby said just know that Commissioners are not sitting here not knowing what BVA does. BVA has a lot of dedicated volunteers. Mr. Strong said the bottom line is BVA wants to maintain a relationship and BVA will continue providing service. Mr. Strong said if BVA is not the provider, God forbid, the county will be starting from scratch.

 

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners do not have a drop dead date to decide on the request for proposals. Commissioner Pinkerton said the decision will be what is best for the county. Mr. Baker said there are support letters included with BVA’s request for proposal.

 

The meeting to discuss BVA’s request for proposal ended at 4:00 p.m.

 

4:00 p.m., Commissioners spoke to Steve Groom with Newport Ambulance Service via telephone to discuss Newport Ambulance Service’s request for proposal for ambulance service. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Boundary County Emergency Services Director Dave Kramer, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker and BVA EMT Jacob Bushnell.

 

Mr. Groom said he is looking to provide one ambulance unit and to be very conservative and build slowly. Mr. Groom said he will need two full time ambulance units provided by the county. Mr. Groom said the issue of ambulance service is at a crossroads as he knows a few volunteers who want to be involved, but there is only fractured information available. Chairman Dinning asked how Mr. Groom handles a non-transport situation as far as cost recovery. Mr. Groom said there is no charge for his ambulance to go to someone’s home and accept a refusal. Mr. Groom said his ambulance service does request a patient to complete a refusal form and it helps alleviate the liability if something should happen. Commissioner Kirby asked if refusal data becomes a part of Newport Ambulance Service’s operational data. Mr. Groom said that information has to be imported into a record keeping system and it’s still a critical element to determine the growth and the need. A refusal should be a part of the record. Mr. Groom said the county is more then legitimate to receive that type of information. Mr. Groom said anyone in the EMS position has an obligation to show what is being done for Commissioners to justify the tax levy.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said if Commissioners asked for Newport Ambulance’s business plan, would that be available to the county as he noticed they are also a 501c3. Mr. Groom said he wouldn’t know what Commissioners are looking for specifically. Mr. Groom spoke of the relationship between the ambulance service and fire departments and law enforcement, and he said it becomes a part of the team approach. Commissioner Pinkerton said so information would be available to the counsel. Mr. Groom said he feels it would be necessary for the county to be a part of that.

 

Mr. Groom said depending on levels of training, he would look at 18 to 20 people in the field, some full and some part time. Technically each ambulance unit should have two personnel on board and the driver would be a part of that. Mr. Groom said he would want to keep the volunteers involved and involved in the process, and to have someone assist in managing the service. Mr. Groom said that would be Scott Doughty who is a paramedic currently with Newport Ambulance Service, but Mr. Doughty would live in Boundary County. The goal is to not make more profit. Mr. Groom discussed sending a float rig to Boundary County to ensure there is a paramedic in Boundary County all of the time.

 

Chairman Dinning asked how Newport Ambulance Service works with fire departments in Bonner County. Mr. Groom said he has been very spoiled as over the last 20 years a shared responding system has been built. The ambulance company supports non-EMS fire departments to become licensed, etc. A Washington State fire department near Newport Ambulance Service responds to all Newport calls, and is a part of the team. That fire department might not always get to provide first aid care, but it’s the team approach and there is joint trainings continuously and meetings. Mr. Groom spoke of having a council body to share information and of sharing as a group what training is needed for EMS, fire, etc., and in doing that can reduce a lot of training costs. Paramedics can teach some of these basic courses. Mr. Groom said it doesn’t matter what department patch someone has on their shirt as it’s all the same team, and it creates a success story, but there had been a lot of miscommunication in the beginning.

 

Mr. Groom spoke of the need to monitor growth, etc., to ensure we’re all here for the right reasons.

 

Chairman Dinning said overall Newport Ambulance bills for a certain amount and he asked if Mr. Groom knows the percentage of the amount recovered. Mr. Groom said in Boundary County’s information it’s about a 50% recovery rate. Some insurance companies reimburse at a higher rate and others at a lower rate. For private pay patients Mr. Groom said he feels there are more calls than documents available so he left that percentage alone. Chairman Dinning said dollar-wise it’s a conservative estimate. Mr. Groom said the last thing he wants to do is inflate something as he doesn’t want to be inaccurate. Commissioner Pinkerton said all billing for Newport Ambulance Service is done out of their office in Old Town, and in the event there is a cost that is not paid for a patient, how does Newport deal with that.  Mr. Groom said Newport Ambulance Service will negotiate with customers for approximately 60 days and they even have patients who will pay approximately $5 to $10 per month. Newport Ambulance Service can determine that some patients will not pay for the service and those accounts are taken to collections. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if those accounts go to small claims court. Mr. Groom said Newport Ambulance Service utilizes two collection agencies and those accounts are routed through their process. It’s really up to the collection agencies as far as claims. Mr. Groom said claims billing is done in-house.

 

Chairman Dinning asked about Mr. Groom’s philosophy for extrication. Mr. Groom said training and experience has led him to believe that extrication is most appropriately done by the fire service. One reason being clothing and equipment and the second factor is when there is an accident, there are only a few EMS providers available so extrication is where fire service comes in. There is debris, etc., and ambulance personnel should not be involved in that. Firemen are really good at extrication and freeing up that manpower so medics can treat the patient. Commissioners asked how Newport Ambulance works with Search and Rescue. Mr. Groom said he will call for snowmobile extraction, but they he doesn’t really see a lot of interaction. Bonner County Search and Rescue is strongly led by Priest Lake and it just depends, according to Mr. Groom. Chairman Dinning asked in going forward if Newport Ambulance was awarded a contract, how would Mr. Groom advise the county to take care of that piece of the puzzle as currently BVA does the extrication. Mr. Groom said he would like to negotiate with the Commissioners to seek participation from the fire departments and any funding needed. Mr. Groom said he would like the county to provide that kind of equipment to the fire departments.

Commissioners said they have gotten quite the education during these interviews. Commissioners said on page 11 of Mr. Groom’s proposal, the budget is very conservative and it mentions re-evaluating. The estimated income from basic life support (BLS) is $345,275 with BLS operation expenses estimated at $536,600. The required amount of Ambulance Service District funding is $191,325. Commissioners said next to that information it shows a District balance of $188,675. Commissioners asked if the calculation was using the estimated Ambulance District funding of $380,000 minus the District funding of $191,325 leaving a balance of $188,675 for the District. Mr. Groom said that was the formula used.

 

Newport Ambulance’s proposal states if advanced life support (ALS) is provided, estimated operating expenses would total $590,600. That is more income so required funding from the Ambulance Service District is estimated at $119,490. Mr. Groom said that was correct. When providing ALS there are several levels and each level could potentially reimburse at different values from insurance companies or Medicare. Operating costs are similar as it’s staffing, but a paramedic’s skills are so much greater so those services can be reimbursed at a greater rate. Mr. Groom said if he tried to run BLS, it wouldn’t work because the receivables are so low. Chairman Dinning said he reads the last paragraph and he asked if that means there will always be a paramedic and one resident supervisor/paramedic available to Boundary County 60% to 70% of the time. Mr. Groom said yes. Mr. Doughty happens to be looking to move to Bonners Ferry so that would give strength as well, according to Mr. Groom. Commissioner Pinkerton asked about the Ambulance Service District balance that is underlined. Mr. Groom said his goal is to display the leftover potential funds. Mr. Groom said the way he reviewed income potential and operating costs he’s hoping that money is not used and can go back to savings.

 

Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown joined the meeting at 4:35 p.m.  

 

Chairman Dinning said one thing Mr. Groom mentioned if ambulance units were placed in outlying areas, paramedics would just need a vehicle as opposed to ambulance. Mr. Groom said the goal would be to negotiate with the fire districts and work on training with all of them and see what could be created on a responder level.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton referred to costs, replacement costs, and apparatus replacement and he asked if Mr. Groom has a plan for replacement. Mr. Groom mentioned maintenance and he said over time hopefully funds can be raised to improve equipment. Mr. Groom said the state has grant writing abilities for that and that is why he was conservative with available funding for reserve purposes. Commissioners asked Mr. Groom if he would have any problem with county owned vehicles that are provided to him. Mr. Groom said he had mentioned before his hopes would be for the county to own its equipment. Mr. Groom said that would provide security and if there were to be a contract and service had stopped, he would hope the equipment would be left available for the next ambulance provider.

 

Chairman Dinning asked how Mr. Groom foresees the county keeping accountability for funding such as income and bookkeeping in relation to Boundary County. Mr. Groom said Commissioners should write down their requests for Newport. Mr. Groom said he may have been too honest, but there is no reason for secrets. It’s a community process and it’s an emergency service. Chairman Dinning said he was told a long time ago if you’re afraid to do something in public, you should think about why that is.

 

Mr. Groom said his biggest fear is how soon the county needs the service and the equipment pool needed. Mr. Groom said he does have equipment, but he doesn’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul. There is also staff consisting of advanced EMT’s that are interested so it’s amazing how many people want to jump in and help. Mr. Groom said he doesn’t want Boundary County’s volunteers to feel discarded and they should be a part of the next service.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said on page 11 it refers to BLS and ALS base fees so is that a price per run. Mr. Groom said yes. Chairman Dinning asked what timeline Newport Ambulance would need to provide service in Boundary County. Mr. Groom said if he receives a request, he and Rob Wakeley of Bonner County EMS feel whatever needs to take place, it will take place and it will be successful. Chairman Dinning said Boundary County potentially has one ambulance so he was thinking 30 days would be needed to procure more equipment. Mr. Groom said that would be way more comfortable, but that would take some discussion. Mr. Groom mentioned needing a couple heart machines, a ventilator and equipment at the ALS level, and he would want to incorporate as many existing volunteers as he can. 

 

Chairman Dinning said the BLS income is approximately $345,000 using the 50% recovery ratio. Chairman Dinning said that isn’t what has been shown historically as income so in regard to that is Mr. Groom fairly confident in those numbers. Mr. Groom said there is a small dollar difference between what BVA has charged and what Newport Ambulance Service charges, but there would be an advanced EMT so that is different. Mr. Groom said there is intermediate, advanced and then there is paramedic and Newport normally doesn’t have any EMT’s under the advanced level. Newport Ambulance has been participating with the new curriculum since year 2000 using that protocol and pharmacology. Newport Ambulance just does things differently on a different playing field. Commissioners asked if the increased funding at the BLS level is due to using advanced or intermediate EMT’s in a different capacity. Mr. Groom said essentially, yes.

 

Mr. Groom said what is important to him is instead of ambulance service, the county is just replacing a system and since there is a taxing district, he would be responsible in helping create a sustainable system so there is a foundation for another agency to fill their shoes later on. It’s not about replacing an ambulance company. Mr. Groom said no matter what it’s the county’s choice and he appreciates the participation.

 

Chairman Dinning said Mr. Groom hit it on the head in that the county wants to do something so it has a system in place so anyone can step in as who knows what will happen in five years. Commissioners said they didn’t know their timeline yet, but they will react as quickly as possible.

 

The telephone call with Mr. Groom ended.

 

4:55 p.m., Commissioners spoke to County Civil Attorney Tevis Hull via telephone.

 

Commissioners informed Attorney Hull they had concluded their last interview, and going forward there is a lot to think about, but they also want to be timely. Commissioners and Attorney Hull discussed continuing Commissioners’ discussion of ambulance service to Friday, September 20, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to continue the discussion on ambulance service to Friday, September 20, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.     

 

The telephone call to Attorney Hull ended at 4:55 p.m.

 

Commissioners tended to administrative duties.

 

5:30 p.m., There being no further business, the meeting recessed until Friday, September 20, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.  

 

***Friday, September 20, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.  

 

2:55 p.m., Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown, Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady, Boundary County Public Information Officer Mike Meier, Donna Capurso, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board member Brian Strong, Terry Capurso Boundary Volunteer Ambulance EMT’s Alan Hamilton, Vickie Hamilton, and Shawna Dlug, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Secretary Tina McHutchins, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Treasurer Edna Runyan, Teresa Baker, and Boundary Economic Development Specialist David Sims joined the meeting until Commissioners went into executive session.

 

County Civil Attorney Tevis Hull joined the meeting at 3:00 p.m.

 

3:00 a.m., Commissioners continued their discussion on ambulance service in Boundary County.  

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code #67-2345(1)a to consider hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, and f, to communicate with legal counsel for the public agency to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, or controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated. Commissioner Kirby second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye”, and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. 4:00 p.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. No action was taken.

 

4:00 p.m., Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown, Terry Capurso, Donna Capurso, Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board member Brian Strong, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker, Teresa Baker, and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance EMT’s Jacob Bushnell, Shawna Dlug and Alan Hamilton returned to the meeting. 

 

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have received three requests for proposals and they have discussed at length with Attorney Hull the ongoing negotiations with BVA. Chairman Dinning said he’s not really satisfied with the request for proposal process as Commissioners are not sure if any of the proposals addressed the needs, at this point, to meet the community’s needs as stated in the July 2012 document. Chairman Dinning said for clarification it’s the level of the community’s needs. Commissioner Kirby said each proposal has something that turns up that Commissioners have issue with. Commissioner Pinkerton said all three proposals addressed different issues in different styles.

 

Chairman Dinning said today is September 20, 2013 and the existing agreement ends September 30, 2013, and Commissioners have in place other alternatives should an agreement not be reached.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reject all three proposals for ambulance service. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Chairman Dinning said Attorney Hull has been instructed to relay the county’s proposal to BVA in order to continue ongoing negotiations. On Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:30 a.m., Commissioners will discuss their offer publicly as to this point Commissioners have graciously kept negotiations private so not to divide the community.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to continue the meeting to discuss their offer for ambulance service to Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to amend the agenda for Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:30 a.m., to include discussion on Commissioners’ offer to BVA for ambulance service. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                            _________________________________

                                                            DAN R. DINNING, Chairman

 

ATTEST:

 

 

______________________________

GLENDA POSTON, Clerk

By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk