If: Penn Township Supervisors Meeting, September 12th.
What happened: During the public comment period, city officials discussed the future of emergency medical services.
background: Along with several other municipalities currently served by Northwest EMS, the township is in discussions to create an EMS authority. Northwest EMS serves the Elizabethtown and Mannheim areas in addition to the townships of West Donegal, East Donegal, Conoy, Raphoe and Elizabeth, as well as parts of Dauphin County. A resident asked why there was a rush to create the authority, saying Northwest EMS had $4 million in liquid assets. The same resident noted concerns from Mannheim County and Raphoe Township officials about salaries and operating costs after joining the authority. Supervisor Gary Stevens said he and other council members share those concerns. “I don’t like the idea that we’re going to pass a law and then get a bill,” Stevens said.
Why it matters: Chairman Ben Brookhart explained that the company made $17,000 in profits in 2020 thanks to getting money for personal protective equipment, but that was unusual. Township manager Mark Hiester said the North West Ambulance Service was “eating up its stock” and “faced with eventual extinction”. He said most of the councils on the Elizabethtown side want power.
What’s next: Officials agreed that the body must be established before it can set fees. Once the fees are proposed, municipalities can opt out. The municipalities would have to leave their powers by September 2023. They also agreed that another ambulance was needed to cover a larger service area, although only 2.5% of calls were missed last year.
Quoted: “The primary mission of EMS should be to respond to 911 calls, not transport,” Hiester said. “There are a lot of people who want to do this kind of work,” he said.
New business: Council approved the final release of $8,340 in funding for the PA Soccer Classics at the recommendation of City Planner Jennifer Tulonen.
Pensions: The board approved the township’s minimum municipal obligation of $28,586.00 for 2023, making it the second largest municipal pension in the county by funding.
Wild cats: The council unanimously rejected a resident’s request to be reimbursed for the capture of the feral cats, which were later sterilized and released. Although the resident reportedly spent $3,000 of her own money, she never responded to the township’s request to find out how much she is asking for.
What’s next: The next board meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Monday, September 26, at 97 N. Penryn Road.
— Elaine J. Walmer, for the LNP | Lancaster Internet