County OKs settlement, new 28E
The Ambulance Council could dramatically change if seven cities follow in the steps of the Board of Supervisors and approve a new 28E agreement and a settlement agreement.
Supervisors unanimously approved what they have called the “amended and recast intergovernmental” agreement that would replace the 1989 agreement that originally created the county’s Ambulance Council.
The approvals came during a meeting held on the last day of 2020 and 10 days after county and city officials met for a settlement conference to discuss the county’s lawsuit against the cities.
“I think we definitely have something that will move us in the right direction,” Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jacob Hackman said. “This, in my mind, is a much better agreement than the 1989 one.”
The Board of Supervisors also approved a settlement reached by attorneys that would dismiss the lawsuit that asks cities to help pay a portion of the current ambulance contract that expires on June 30.
Under the settlement agreement, all seven cities must approve not only the settlement but also must approve the new 28E agreement. If that happens, the county will drop the lawsuit. The settlement also calls on the government entities to pay $25,000 — $10,000 by the county and $15,000 by the cities — for “start-up” costs to the new Ambulance Council. It also requires the county to fund its portion of any future ambulance contracts through its rural services fund or from local option sales tax revenue generated in the
unincorporated area of the county.
Still, it took more than an hour for the supervisors to approve the new 28E agreement and the settlement on New Year’s Eve.
The new 28E agreement dramatically changes the Ambulance Council and how future contracts will be funded. In the past, each city and the county had a representative on the council, and there was no set funding mechanism for the council.