The Terre Haute City Council voted to approve an ambulance fee increase at Thusday night's city council meeting. Jeff Fisher went before the council to explain the need for the increase at last week's meeting.
Patients who use EMS services will pay an additional $50 if they do not require life support. Patients who require life support services will pay an additional $150. Vigo County residents who do not live in the city will pay the higher non-resident fee.
Fisher said the fire department will use the money it collects to pay for paramedic training, vehicles and equipment. The fees allow the THFD to be self-sufficient and to not place a burden on the tax payers.
Terre Haute ended 2012 with a budget deficit. Mayor Duke Bennett withdrew the request to use Economic Development Income Tax fund to balance the city's budget. Fisher added that making sure the fire department is self-sufficient would not add to the city's financial woes. The fee increases are within the range suggested by the fire department's billing company..
The council also discussed changing the section of 4th Street from Poplar to Cherry to a two-way street. The completed project would involve removing the bike lane, freeing up additional parking spaces, and painting “Share the Road” on the new pavement.
“This really isn't at the top of our priority list,” said Councilman Todd Nation, discussing the time table for the change.
Councilman Mullican suggested using the EDIT fund to pay for the project. “I am for this, but I don't want to use the general fund,” he told the council .