Dry Ridge seeks EMS funding from Grant County taxpayers

DRY RIDGE, Ky. -- About a quarter of EMS calls made in Grant County last year came from within Dry Ridge city limits. But the roughly $900,000 cost of running the emergency medical service fell solely on the city's taxpayers. 

"I'd hate to take this business model to an investment banker," Dry Ridge Mayor Jim Wells said. "Ask for a loan, I'd get laughed out of the room."

Wells said the funding model needs to change. A proposed plan would spread the costs around, but if there isn't a deal soon, officials said some people could lose their ambulance service. 

"It's not about doing the right thing now," he said. "It's strictly about dollars and cents. I can't ask the citizens of Dry Ridge to pay more taxes to support a service that provides it to people who aren't contributing."

Wells has a two-sided plan. It would phase in communities and unincorporated Grant County over a three-year period. Towns would earn service credits for taking a medic unit, easing the burden of calls out of Dry Ridge. Taxpayers would foot their share of the bill.

"Unfortunately, we have to draw a line in the sand," Wells said. 

That line is Jan. 1, 2018. 

"Unfortunately, what it means to folks who live outside the city limits, is that unless we get some help from the areas they live in -- the county or another city -- we're going to suspend EMS service to those areas and stop providing it," Wells said.

Wells said he's hoping cities withing the county come onboard so people who need the services can continue to receive them.

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