The Western Carroll County Ambulance District (WCCAD) board will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, and the new contract for ambulance service with the City of Eureka Springs is on the agenda to be finalized.
The contract was awarded to Eureka Springs at the April regular meeting after WCCAD received bids from both the city and Mercy Health Systems of Springfield, Mo. Eureka Springs has been the contract holder for more than a decade.
The bid award became controversial when Mercy bid a contract price lower than Eureka Springs but raised concerns in commissioners' minds about whether it could realistically provide services at the level at which Eureka has been providing them. Eureka Springs bid 90 percent (up from 85 percent in previous years) of the two-mill tax collections, which will pay out $236,000 during WCCAD's 2012-13 fiscal year, leaving little with which WCCAD can provide first responder emergency medical services. Eureka also failed to meet bid specifications by not including a required $250,000 performance bond in its bid, mistakenly thinking it was covered under tort immunity. Mercy's bid did include the bond.
Commissioners awarded the bid to Eureka on a 3-2 vote (Dolce voting for Mercy) after Eureka Springs said it would provide the performance bond.
At a special meeting Thursday to draft the new contract, commissioners decided to lower the performance bond requirement to $150,000.
"We thought that was reasonable since Eureka Springs has to use its tax money to pay for the insurance policy," said Chairman John Dolce over the weekend.
The meeting will take place Tuesday, May 15, at 4 p.m. at Cornerstone Bank in Eureka Springs. The public is welcome.