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Le Roy holding public hearing on Le Roy Ambulance District

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LE ROY — After a straw vote earlier this month in which Le Roy residents favored establishing a Le Roy Ambulance District, there will be a public hearing tonight at the Le Roy Town Hall.

The village and town of Le Roy will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. in the town hall on the formation for a tax district for ambulance service. Both the village and town board will be present to answer people’s questions.

A total of 325 residents came out on Oct. 9 to vote to give elected officials some direction with the Le Roy Ambulance Service, with 208 voting for the option to establish a Le Roy Ambulance District. Currently based upon Le Roy Ambulance Service analysis, the 2019 tax rate would be 48 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or $48 for a $100,000 home. This would also mean a Le Roy resident using Le Roy Ambulance Service would have no out-of-pocket (co-pay) expenses. The current services would remain and land in an agriculture district would be exempt.

Right now, if something isn’t done, the Le Roy Ambulance Service will only have two years left before it folds.

Robert Boyce, president of the Le Roy Ambulance Service Inc., and Dane Sprague, vice president of the Le Roy Ambulance Service Inc., said during a September meeting that the service has been losing $40,000 to $50,000 a year for the past six years and, in order to keep the ambulance service from folding, the establishment of a special ambulance taxing district in the town and village was suggested.

The problem the Le Roy Ambulance Service is facing is it cannot bill for every call to which it responds. Last year, out of the 1,223 calls for service, 743 were billable, and out of the gross of over $1 million it billed for, it was paid less than half.

“The frustration is, if we don’t transport somebody, we don’t get paid,” Boyce said at the time. He added the insurance companies don’t send the ambulance service the checks — they send it to the patient who was transported, some of whom keep the checks instead of paying the bill.

Both the town and village would need to support an ambulance district, however, otherwise the ambulance service won’t go through with the plan. The men said, however, whatever way it goes, they need time to plan.

“It’s hard to put a dollar value on a life,” Boyce said.

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