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updated: 2/21/2012 2:22 PM

Batavia approves pricier ambulance contract

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The Batavia City Council signed off Monday on a new arrangement for splitting the cost of running the Tri-City Ambulance Service.

Aldermen approved the intergovernmental agreement 12-0.

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Batavia's share of the bill will increase, especially as the formula changes from being based strictly on member entities' property values to one based on each entities' number of calls.

"Batavia will be seeing an increase, but we will be paying for what we get," said Alderman Jim Volk, chairman of the city services committee, presenting the proposal.

The cities of Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles belong, as does the Batavia and Countryside Fire Protection District and Geneva Township. The latter two serve unincorporated residents by contracting for fire protection with the Batavia and Geneva fire departments.

User fees cover about half of the service's costs. The rest is paid by the governments.

St. Charles has been paying 41 percent, followed by Batavia and Geneva at 27 percent apiece. In March 2011, while discussing Tri-City's budget, St. Charles aldermen said they thought that was unfair.

Under the new plan, Batavia and St. Charles will each pay 35 percent and Geneva will pay 27 percent, for the next five years. Then it will be based on ambulance calls. St. Charles has the most, followed by Batavia.

Ambulance users are charged $600 to $800 per run, depending on the medical complexity of the call. Nonresidents pay an extra $100.

The service started in 1984. It has five ambulances; two are stationed in St. Charles, two in Batavia and one in Geneva.

Batavia expects to pay $435,000 for the service this year, $115,000 more than in previous years.

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