theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

February 8, 2013

Konawa struggles to fund emergency services

Bill Finch
Seminole Producer

Konawa —  

The city of Konawa is in a dilemma trying to figure out the best way of keeping its EMS service running.

The service, established in 1981, has been bleeding money for years. 

When it started, it was a private service. Five years ago, after being unable to pay its bills, it was taken over by the city.

In fiscal year 2011-2012, it lost $79,000. In the current 2012-13 fiscal year, it is on track to lose $104,000 if it stays on its current projection.

A special Konawa City Council meeting was held Monday morning to address the situation. 

City Manager Rita LoPresto started the meeting by showing a PowerPoint presentation that showed the background of the service and explained the revenue shortfall. 

Konawa EMS provides service to the city of Konawa, southern Seminole County, and more than 80 square miles in southern Pottawatomie County.

Because of House Bill 1888 passed in 2010, each county in the state became responsible for providing EMS service to its residents, and county taxes would help pay for the service.

At that time, boundaries were drawn determining the areas each EMS service would cover, Konawa accepted the southern Pottawatomie County in its area of service.

A big problem for Konawa is that House Bill 1888 did not have any enforcement teeth, and to this date, Pottawatomie County has refused to pay Konawa any of its tax revenue for the services Konawa EMS is providing to their county.

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