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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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        A proposal by Lake Township Fire Chief Bruce Moritz to end an agreement with a company for billing for Emergency Medical Service transports has been approved by the township trustees.

        Moritz recommended terminating the township’s contract with Health Services Integration and enter into an agreement with Great Lakes Billing Associates, Inc., Cleveland.

        Moritz said Great Lakes has proposed a service rate of 7 percent of collected funds and transportation rates of $600 for basic life support, $750 for advanced life support level 1 and $850 for advanced life support level 2. There would also be a $14 per mile transport fee.

        The township and LifeStar are ending an agreement in which the township provided an emergency vehicle and equipment and LifeStar provided paramedics 24 hours a day.

        Moritz said the Great Lakes proposal is less than the current rates charged by LifeStar and under the proposed contract the company will “soft bill” township residents and only collect insurance money for EMS transports.

        “I want to start anew,” Moritz said, adding Great Lakes did a very good job for the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District while he was chief there. He said the company specializes in working with small communities.

        The township trustees also agreed to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Attorney General’s office to act on the township’s behalf to collect for non-payments from non-township residents who use EMS transport service.

        Lake Township officials plan to have a township-staffed paramedic emergency medical service department operating in the first quarter of 2018.

        Township voters on Nov. 7 approved a 1-mill property tax levy that will generate about $230,204 annually for the 24/7 service. A 0.8-mill levy already on the tax duplicate also helps fund the service.

Rail crossings discussed

        Frustrated with blocked rail crossings, gates and lights malfunctioning and other issues, the trustees agreed to invite a representative from CSX to a future meeting to answer questions.

        Ken Gilsdorf, a trustee and retired CSX employee, said Wednesday he’s extended an invitation via email to Rusty Orben, a Columbus-based vice president of the company, to address the trustees.

        “CSX is implementing a transition to a new operating philosophy called Precision Scheduled Railroading, which is intended to optimize the efficiency of every task performed on the railroad as we work to safely deliver freight to customers across our 23-state network,” said Rob Doolittle, Assistant Vice President of Media and Communications for CSX. “As part of that process, CSX is reviewing operations across our network to identify opportunities to operate more efficiently and improve service to customers. Freight volumes fluctuate for a variety of reasons including economic conditions and seasonal volumes. There are times when trains unavoidably block crossings, often while making local deliveries or entering and exiting rail yards, and CSX works to limit the impact of those events. Our objective is to move freight as efficiently as possible through every community on our network, including Lake Township.”

 

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