Conoy Township supervisors agreed to increase the contribution to Northwest Emergency Medical Services to $6,000 this year, up from $5,000 last year, but made no decision on whether to ultimately raise the contribution to $10,000 over a three-year period as requested.
Northwest EMS is facing major financial problems, in part because insurance companies do not pay the full cost of transporting a patient to the hospital, which is about $1,500. Also, insurance companies are sending checks to the patients rather than to the ambulance company and the patients do not always forward the checks to the ambulance company. When the patient has no insurance, the ambulance company has no option but to try to collect the full amount from the patient.
Supervisors agreed at their meeting on Thursday, May 9, that the next issue of the Conoy Township newsletter should include information about the ambulance company and the benefits of purchasing a membership in reducing the bill if one needs to use an ambulance.
Also at the meeting, supervisors agreed to a change to the township zoning ordinance to cut down on the number of people who will need to apply for variances. It changes provisions for roof-mounted solar collectors and reduces setback regulations in the Village Center zoning district (the densely populated area of Bainbridge); the rationale for that is that in an area where there is little room to build, large setback requirements are an unfair burden.
In another matter, the township held a drill for an emergency at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station on Tuesday, May 7. Emergency Management Coordinator Wayne Southard told supervisors that it went exceptionally well and that Supervisor Gina Mariani did a great job handling communications during the drill.
“They said I should have turned over running the drill to her,” Southard said.
Southard said the May 7 drill would likely be the last one held because the nuclear plant is scheduled to close this autumn.
“It’s not what we wanted to hear, but I guess we’ll have to live with it,” Supervisors Chairman Stephen L. Mohr Sr. said of the plant closing.
Also, supervisors approved paying $14,275 that was not budgeted for to have a large tree that was cut down from the property of Bainbridge Elementary School cut into lumber. Mohr said the pieces are exceptionally large, with each board weighing 1,550 pounds. He said once the boards have dried out enough to use, they can be used to make furniture for the school or be sold to local residents.