For the fourth
consecutive year, the Chesterton Town Council has extended--for another 12
months--its contract with Superior Ambulance Service.
This time, however,
the contract extension includes new language.
As Associate Town
Attorney Julie Paulson told the council at its meeting Tuesday night, the
contract extension now includes a termination clause, under which either
party may terminate the contract after giving 60 days’ notification.
Of somewhat more
interest, however, under the new extension Superior will now pay the town
$1,000 per month to offset the costs to the Fire Department of providing the
company and its crews quarters and facilities at the fire station.
“I think its good
we’re finally getting back some money now,” observed Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
three-year contract with the town expired in 2016. Under the terms of that
contract, the privately owned Superior provides advanced life support EMS
services to Chesterton residents at no public cost. The agreement requires
Superior to operate an ALS ambulance, manned by certified two-person crews,
from the CFD station house, on a 24/7/365 basis; to transport patients to
the hospital of their choice; to accept Medicaid and Medicare on all claims
for covered services; and to bill third-party payments at its usual and
The contract also
specifies that, in the event of Superior’s recovering gross receipts over a
certain amount, it will split the surplus 50/50 with the town, “up to an
amount equal to the percentage of the town’s budgeted expenses which are
attributable to EMS.”
In point of fact,
however, Fire Chief John Jarka has previously said that the town has not
recouped the costs associated with EMS assists, as Superior has never hit
the gross-receipts threshold.
unanimously on Monday to approve the contract extension, after voting
unanimously to establish a non-reverting fund into which Superior’s monthly
$1,000 payment will be deposited.
In other business,
members voted unanimously to approve an expenditure of $2,500 in cash to
support the annual fireworks extravaganza at the lakefront as well as an
in-kind contribution of police and fire services for the event, also valued
president of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, requested the donation.
The fireworks will
be held on Monday, July 1, with a rain date of Tuesday, July 2.
Blowback from Kmart
Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, took a moment at the end of the meeting to respond
to comments made on social media about a story which ran in the Friday, May
24, edition of the Chesterton Tribune, which reported that Town
Manager Bernie Doyle and Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann have been in quiet
discussions with the owner of the old Kmart property and a possible new
anchor tenant for the property.
Several people on
Facebook took it amiss that the conversations have not been made public and
that--as the rumor mill continues to churn--the town has not identified the
possible anchor tenant.
“I don’t normally
comment on the social media,” DeLaney said. But, he said, it’s important for
folks to understand one thing. “Private enterprise is free enterprise.
Landlords and tenants can do pretty much what they want as long as they
follow ordinance. Due to the sensitivity of negotiations, we are not at
liberty to say anything, despite a lot of speculation in the community.”
DeLaney added that
the two parties approached the town for information, and that Doyle and
Lukmann were happy to provide it, but that neither party is willing or
prepared at this point to make a public announcement.
folks to contact Doyle directly at 926-1098. Or better yet, he said, “Come
to a meeting and ask your question. We’ll share what information we can.
We’ll be as transparent as we can given the request of the developer.”