Progress made on ambulance district

By LIAM MAYO
Posted 1/18/22

COCHECTON, NY — The Cochecton Town Board had agreed during its December 8, 2021 board meeting that it wished to help fund the Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps through the establishment of an …

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Progress made on ambulance district

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COCHECTON, NY — The Cochecton Town Board had agreed during its December 8, 2021 board meeting that it wished to help fund the Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps through the establishment of an ambulance district. It would next contact Pinsky Law Group, PLLC, the law firm that recently helped Highland set up its ambulance district, and to have a consultation about ways to move forward.

That consultation had not yet happened as of the board’s January 12 meeting. The road toward the consultation was discussed and made more solid at that meeting.

Cochecton supervisor Gary Maas said that he’d had a preliminary discussion with Brad Pinsky. An initial Zoom meeting would be free, said Maas.

The work of establishing the district was said to cost between $2,500 and $2,8000, according to a member of the Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps in attendence. Highland’s ambulance district cost $5,300 to establish, he said, but there had been a lot more involved there.

The board discussed a process by which the town could front that cost, lightening the burden placed upon the ambulance corps.

The board could pass a resolution authorizing payment out of the town’s general fund, said town attorney Karen Mannino. That resolution would not require a public hearing, but would be subject to a permissive referendum, leading to a gap between when the resolution would be passed and when it became effective.

Once the ambulance district was created, it would reimburse the town for the cost of its creation, Mannino added.

The board also discussed the scheduling of a preliminary meeting with Pinsky.

If the whole board would be present at that meeting, said Mannino, it would have to be a public meeting, which would need to abide by the appropriate notification requirements.

If less than a quorum of the board were to attend, then the meeting could be set up without having to go through that process, allowing for more flexibility in its scheduling.  

The board ultimately decided to have Maas and councilperson Sean Nearing attend the meeting, rather than making it a public meeting. “That’ll make it easier for us to set up a meeting and get it done sooner rather than later,” said Maas.

Correction: An earlier version of this article quoted figures of $25,000 to $28,000 for the establishment of the Cochecton ambulance district and a figure of $53,000 for the establishment of the Highland ambulance district, and attributed those remarks to supervisor Gary Maas. It was a Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps member in attendence who made those remarks, and he quoted $2,500 to $2,800 for the Cochecton district and $5,300 for the Highland district. According to Highland town supervisor Jeff Haas, the correct figure for the Highland district is $3,500. The article has been updated to reflect these corrections as of 2:15 p.m., January 21, 2022.

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