Lake City on Their Own
Lake City may be about to lose it's emergency medical service coverage. Columbia County Commissioners reviewed proposals today to privatize its EMS service and it seems they will no longer cover Lake City. The County's attorney sent a letter to the Lake City Mayor to say they will no longer be included in the county's emergency service. While county leaders said they have not made a decision, the letter suggests otherwise.
Columbia County leaders are looking to a private service to cut costs. That may also mean a change in their history of covering Lake City, which would be 18-percent fewer people to cover.
Lake City City Manager Wendell Johnson says the county and city tried to find a cost efficient alternative for EMS in 2006, but never did. Johnson said "I regret that I think that would have provided the foundation today to make a good qualified decision to benefit all of Columbia County residents."
By phone late today, Columbia County Manager Dale Williams said county leaders have thought privatization was the solution all along, but in our report last Friday, he didn't sound so sure. Williams said "we can sit here and talk about what a private contract may cost we can talk about what the savings may be , but until you actually negotiate a contract or you get far enough in it that you've actually got some numbers it's very difficult to do that."
That was three days after the county's attorney, Marlin Feagle, signed a letter to Lake City Mayor on February 16th. Suggesting that, negotiations aside, they'd already decided private was the way to go.
For more, you can watch the video to the right.
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