Township EMS/fire contracts discussed in special meeting


By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]



Sidney Council member Scott Roddy rose to introduce himself at the beginning of the special Sidney City Council meeting in the Nancy Adams Training Center at Sidney Fire Station 1 on Thursday, March 17. The purpose of the meeting with Sidney City Council members, city staff and Clinton, Orange, Franklin and Washington representatives was to discuss township fire and ambulance contracts.

Sidney Council member Scott Roddy rose to introduce himself at the beginning of the special Sidney City Council meeting in the Nancy Adams Training Center at Sidney Fire Station 1 on Thursday, March 17. The purpose of the meeting with Sidney City Council members, city staff and Clinton, Orange, Franklin and Washington representatives was to discuss township fire and ambulance contracts.


Sheryl Roadcap | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Over 20 people, including Sidney City Council members, city staff and Clinton, Orange, Franklin and Washington representatives, gathered at in the Nancy Adams Training Center in Sidney Fire Station 1 to discuss township fire and ambulance contracts during a special meeting held Thursday evening.

Sidney Fire Chief Chad Hollinger led Thursday evening’s conversation saying most township contracts have been in place between the city of Sidney and the townships since the early 1970s.

“The original formula to derive the contract prices,” he said, “was a formula based upon population density, property valuations and call volume. The incremental increases adopted have primarily been in line with the cost of labor increases. The contracts have not been corrected to account for rising costs of training, maintenance, administrative costs and other expenses associated with the delivery of fire and EMS services.”

Hollinger noted this issue has accrued over 40 years, and Sidney city staff is aware the solution will not be a quick fix. City Manager Andrew Bowsher suggested it could take up to 10 years to reach the point where the city is satisfied with the amount of the contracts, and some of those outstanding amounts may still remain unpaid at that time.

In October 2021, Hollinger explained, Sidney city staff began a thorough a review of the current fire and EMS contract valuations with neighboring townships. During a meeting in May 2021, Hollinger was asked by City Council if the current contracts covered the city’s direct costs, which prompted the investigation, and led to the October discussion. Hollinger said in 2021 he thought the contracts may come close to meeting the city’s direct costs, but does not cover indirect costs of equipment depreciation, training and administrative costs, which all have increased over the years. This prompted the review and brought to light questions regarding the equity and fairness of said contracts, Hollinger said Thursday.

After City Council heard a presentation on the information learned from research, a discussion ensued with staff on the background, scope of contracts and a preliminary contract valuation report. At the end of the meeting, city staff was directed to continue researching the issue, propose a 10% increase to current contracts for 2022, and to schedule a meeting with township trustees to discuss the matter further.

Thursday’s presentation was based on 2020 numbers for the discussion. It showed the city of Sidney has only collected roughly 32% of the amount amount billed, for EMS billing collections only from Sidney and the four townships combined. Sidney has not been paid a total of $1,183,924.74 out of the $1,733,692.56 billed for EMS services in 2020, which only is for transported EMS services.

Historically, Hollinger said, a standard 3% increase for township contracts has been implemented. Except for Washington Township, the dollar values below reflected the 3% increase over the following townships’ contracts:

• Clinton: 2021: EMS, $28,814, and fire, $39,530; 2020: EMS, $27,975, and fire, $38,379.

In 2022, the 10% increase was: EMS, $31,695, and fire, $43,483;

• Orange: 2021: EMS, $11,193, and fire, $10,921; 2020: EMS, $7,636, and fire, $10,602;

In 2022, the 10% increase was: EMS, $11,702, and fire, $12,013;

An additional 6.6-square-miles of the township were brought under contract on March 9, 2021.

• Franklin: 2021 fire, $10,921; 2020; fire, $10,921.

In 2022, the 10% increase was: fire, $11,320;

• Washington: EMS $1 for year 2021 and again $1 for 2020.

In Washington Township, Sidney covers a section of Interstate 75 that is less than a mile long. The only access to the section in Shelby County is from Sidney.

Hollinger said the fire department staff continues to research best practices and options for contract valuation. Along with several charts breaking down call volumes and, collections, and information on each townships’s levies and need, Hollinger presented information on two methods of valuation that are most commonly utilized.

The first and most simplistic is the “run charge” method, he said, which was utilized in the preliminary report generated in 2021. The second method is the “hybrid/weighted formula” which takes into account property valuation (or protected risk), call volume/usage (the actual usage), and population (the protected risk). This method was explored and examples were presented in the presentation for discussion. Hollinger said he feels the hybrid/weighted formula is the most fair for both sides (Sidney and the townships) because it more fairly evaluates the risk/need for both against usage.

Several township trustees spoke up to try and get an idea of what the city would like to see the contracts to look like next year, voice concern about their constituents’ concerns with the rising price of service and to understand the long term goal of the city.

After some brief discussion upon the completion of Hollinger’s presentation, Mayor Mardie Milligan said she sees the conversation as a good starting point and recommended creating an ad hoc committee to include representatives from all parties to further dig in on what the next steps should be to work toward a solution to recommend for the contracts.

All parties agreed to take the information back to their people, think it over and talk about Thursday’s meeting, and select a representative to participate in the ad hoc committee to be created and for a meeting to be set in the near future.

Council member Mike Barhorst was absent Thursday night and was excused by council members.

Sidney Council member Scott Roddy rose to introduce himself at the beginning of the special Sidney City Council meeting in the Nancy Adams Training Center at Sidney Fire Station 1 on Thursday, March 17. The purpose of the meeting with Sidney City Council members, city staff and Clinton, Orange, Franklin and Washington representatives was to discuss township fire and ambulance contracts.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_Special-meeting.jpgSidney Council member Scott Roddy rose to introduce himself at the beginning of the special Sidney City Council meeting in the Nancy Adams Training Center at Sidney Fire Station 1 on Thursday, March 17. The purpose of the meeting with Sidney City Council members, city staff and Clinton, Orange, Franklin and Washington representatives was to discuss township fire and ambulance contracts. Sheryl Roadcap | Sidney Daily News

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]