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Perrysburg Township residents to be billed for crash emergency services

From-left-Grant-Garn-zoning-inspector-Bob-Warnimont

From left, Grant Garn, zoning inspector, Bob Warnimont, director of recreation, Mark Hetrick, police chief, Tom Brice, fire and EMS chief, and Kraig Gottfried, maintenance supervisor, address the Perrysburg Township Board of Trustees at the trustee offices on Lime City Road in Perrysburg Township.

The Blade/Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer
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Motorists who get into accidents in Perrysburg Township will now be billed for the emergency services used in their aid.

Trustees tonight approved a contract with the firm Medicount to bill motorists' insurance companies for ambulance, fire and other emergency service responders that come to the scene of a crash.

Fire Chief Tom Brice said many of the accidents involve non-township residents, putting a burden on local finances.

"One way to correct this is to start a billing program," he said.

The chief told trustees that if insurance companies do not cover the fees, the billing firm will seek payment from the motorists themselves, only if they are non-township residents.

Trustees approved the resolution, 3-0. A start-up time for the program was unavailable.

Chief Brice also noted that staffing issues were continuing to strain the department.

"We're creating a fair amount of overtime and putting a lot of stress" on employees covering extra shifts, he said.

Trustees told the chief that his department's staffing levels could be affected by whether the township's continuing levy passes on the Nov. 6 ballot. They said they needed to work on a "Plan B" for budgeting if it fails.

"The clock is ticking," Trustee Craig LaHote said, recommending the board start working on a contingency plan at a future meeting. No date was set.

The 4-mill tax is projected to raise about $1.45 million a year, costing the owner of a $100,000 house about $120 annually.

Chief Brice said he may not want to hire new employees now, only to lay them off in January.

"That should change some of our [hiring] processes that we're going through currently," he said.

The chief is recommending filling at least one full-time position and three part-time positions.

In other matters, the trustees:

- approved a mutual aid agreement with Troy and Lake townships for the automatic dispatch of tanker trucks to fire calls in areas that do not have hydrants.

- requested more time to consider the purchase of a new dump truck/snow plow; Kraig Gottfried, maintenance supervisor, recommended a bid from Stoops Freightliner for $133,507.

- heard from Police Chief Mark Hetrick that an investigation into a Sept. 9 credit card fraud incident has become part of a multi-state probe that is expected to reach $1 million in losses.

Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at rconklin@theblade.com or 419-356-8786.

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