Towns nix new ambulance company for original crews

By Matt Porter

February 8, 2014 Updated Feb 8, 2014 at 2:13 AM EDT

Town of New Berlin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The towns of New Berlin and Columbus voted Friday to end contracts with their ambulance providers, and renew service with previous providers after a backlash from residents.

The votes were part of a campaign to end two $50,000 contracts with the Unadilla Valley Ambulance Corporation signed in November 2013.

The town of New Berlin voted 3-1 and town of Columbus voted 4-1 during separate but simultaneous meetings Friday.

The original decision was made to end previous contracts with the village of New Berlin at the end of 2013.

Town of New Berlin supervisor Robert Starr said it was the wrong move to end the contract with the village, which can provide the services for half the price.

"This was a political issue," Starr said, "That's why I ran for the office of town supervisor last year and the two town councilmen also ran, was to bring the wishes of the people back to the town."

Town residents who attended the meeting, like Beverly Fagan, said they were opposed to the move from the beginning.

"They developed this second ambulance service and I don't think that was necessary when we already had one," Fagan said.

The village service will be paid a pro-rated amount of $21,875 by both towns for the rest of the year.

Unadilla Valley Ambulance Corporation was already paid $30,000 for its services before Jan. 1.

The towns have not decided if they will pursue legal action to recover some of the prepayment.

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