Belpre ambulance service to be discussed

BELPRE –A total of four proposals regarding daytime ambulance and emergency service coverage in Belpre will up for review and consideration during a meeting scheduled for Jan. 16 of Belpre City Council’s Police and Fire Committee.

Councilmember Donna Miller, chair of the Police and Fire Committee, said a meeting of the committee will begin at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 in council chambers to review the proposals and to get input and answers to a variety of questions regarding the proposals.

The meeting is open to the public and Miller said she hopes to see Belpre residents in attendance to provide input regarding what direction the committee and council should go in restoring the service.

In April 2016, the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department suspended the paid services previously provided.

In October, council approved action to solicit proposals to provide ambulance and emergency medical service in Belpre.

Miller said the four proposals to be considered at next Monday’s committee meeting cover a fair amount of that spectrum, from a couple of start-ups to a existing company.

Once the proposals are reviewed, Miller said the committee will narrow the choice to a final one or two possibilities and then conduct interviews to reach a final recommendation. That will be forwarded to council for final consideration and approval at a later date.

“There’s so much in it that we can’t settle it in one night,” Miller said of the process.

During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Mike Lorentz said appointments to the city’s Civil Service Board, Planning and Zoning Board, Health Board and Recreation Committee will remain the same.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Council President Will Neff said the filing period is now underway for Belpre city offices what are up for election in 2017. The filing period runs through Feb. 2 for the May primary in Belpre and Washington County.

All seven council seats and the council president’s seat – which are two-year terms – are up for election this year, along with four-year terms for city treasurer and city auditor. The offices of mayor and law director were last up for election in 2015 and have two years remaining on their current terms.

Neff urged those current officeholders planning to seek re-election and any interested Belpre residents interested in running for one of the public offices to pick up petitions from the Washington County Board of Elections so the required number of signatures can be collected and submitted to the board by the Feb. 2 deadline.