A union agreement may be all that is needed to move forward with a plan for the Alton Fire Department to offer ambulance service.
After some discussion during the Committee of the Whole meeting, a resolution involving the potential purchase of three ambulances was laid over until discussions with the firefighters union representatives have been finalized. The next step will be to solicit area institutions and seek a line of credit to be used for the purchase of the vehicles.
“We had a meeting (with the union representatives) that I thought was productive,” AFD Chief Bernie Sebold said. “The intent is to (continue discussion) between the two attorneys and have the language ironed out this week.”
Sebold has recommended the city contract with an outside billing agency (Andres Medical Billing, Ltd.) to avoid some of the problems with billing individuals for services rendered.
If everything goes as planned, ambulance service through the fire department would begin next year. Options being discussed also include the addition of one ambulance with no additional department hires and the purchase of two ambulances with the addition of three employees.
Pedestrian and bicycle trails plan in the works
The City Council this week was expected to approve a resolution to enter into a contract with Heartlands Conservancy in Mascoutah, Ill., to compile a city-wide master plan for walking and bike trails throughout the city, inspired by the upcoming Alton Regional Multi-Modal Transportation Center in an attempt to connect recreation areas and the new center.
Alton Director of Development and Housing Greg Caffey said $15,000 of the $19,915 would come from a grant through Madison County Planning and Development, pending approval. The plan will not move forward until that grant is finalized.