Aspirus only bidder for IC ambulance contract

CRYSTAL FALLS — Aspirus Wausau Hospital was the only company to step forward on providing ambulance service in Iron County that will be supported by a tax voters approved last year.

The Iron County Board unanimously accepted the proposal Tuesday and directed County Administrator Gene Smith, legal counsel Steve Tinti and a board member to negotiate a contract with Aspirus.

The county had not provided financial support for ambulance service for many years before voters passed a 15 cents per $1,000 of taxable value millage in November 2016, Smith said in his request for proposals. The millage runs from 2017 through 2020 and is expected to generate $73,515 this year.

Smith distributed his request for proposals to a number of vendors and advertised the contract after the board’s September meeting.

Aspirus representatives, in their proposal, said they have provided emergency medical services to Iron County since December 2014 and have made substantial investments in equipment. They have four ambulances assigned to Iron County, with the Iron River crew focusing on 911 calls and the Crystal Falls crew focusing on inter-facility transports plus 911 responses.

Aspirus will continue to offer the services they have been providing and will collect the millage money, which they say will offset their losses.

In other business, the board:

— Accepted the 2017 apportionment report that shows the county’s total taxable value at $494 million and taxes collected at $19.8 million.

— Agreed to place the tentative 2018 budget in the county clerk’s office for 30 days for public review. A public hearing on the budget likely will happen at the board’s November meeting.

— Appointed James Dellies to a three-year term on the Human Services Board and Brock Van Oss and Linda Lindberg to three-year terms on the Parks and Recreation Committee. One three-year term on the Parks and Recreation Committee remains open.

— Received a plaque in remembrance of former commissioner Rosalie King that will be displayed in the courthouse.

— Heard from Stephan Currie, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties, on legislative issues affecting county government.