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CRS answers could be finalized

January 14, 2001

CRS answers could be finalized



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Long-awaited answers to questions Hagerstown elected officials posed to Community Rescue Service in response to the ambulance company's request for city funds could be completed by the end of the month.

The questions on topics including CRS staffing levels, fund-raising drives and bill collections were given to CRS in July.

City Council members said they need the answers to those questions to determine how and if the city will help the ambulance company.

Council members on Tuesday directed City Finance Director Al Martin and Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker to get together with CRS officials to get the answers to their questions by the end of January.

Martin said some of the answers provided have been labeled confidential by CRS, but council members said they want all of CRS' answers to be available to the public.

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The council also told Martin to see if the city can help CRS by serving as a conduit for state or federal grants, and to find out if there's any other way the city can help offset some CRS expenses now.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein asked Martin to find out if any of the CRS debt could be refinanced at a lower interest rate through the city.

CRS interim-Director J. Michael Nye has asked the City Council for $600,000 now, plus $400,000 a year in future years to offset operating deficits and replenish the equipment replacement reserve fund.

CRS is the ambulance company serving most of Hagerstown and some of the surrounding area. It serves approximately 34,000 homes.

Chief Hawbaker told the council that some of the CRS budget funds its Maugansville station.

Martin estimated about 20 percent of the CRS budget is spent in Maugansville.

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