UPDATE: County's Paramedic Program's Subsidy to Municipalities Cut Substantially

County Executive Chris Abele vetoed an amendment proposed by the County Board, but the board overrode a day later.

Updated 10:15 a.m. Nov. 17: The Milwaukee County Board restored even more of the paramedic program funding by overriding several of County Executive Chris Abele's vetoes. The paramedic program will now consist of $1.5 million in subsidies to municipalities, including at least $100,000 for Greenfield.

Original story: Greenfield's contingency plan for paramedic service became less contingency and more reality late Monday afternoon.

Just hours after members of the to restore $3 million in subsidies paid to municipalities for the program, Abele vetoed an amendment by the County Board that restored $1.5 million.

Instead, the program will receive only $777,473. It is unclear how much Greenfield will receive; the city had received $250,000 last year and would have received $100,000 had Abele agreed to the amendment.

"It is in the taxpayer's interest that this out-of-date and unwarranted subsidy for EMS services to the municipalities be eliminated," Abele said in a letter sent to county supervisors outlining his vetoes. "The subsidy was in place to compensate municipalities when the county collected and kept payments from patients and insurers. For several years now, the municipalities have been billing, collecting and keeping the payments directly without the involvement of the county, ending the need for such subsidies."

Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke had a , which could be approved .

In the letter, Abele indicated the subsidy will be eliminated completely in 2013. He also vetoed the new allocation formula approved by the board in its amendment, saying the current formula, "must be maintained to keep the contract in effect. I believe it is appropriate for the Board to invalidate a contract and allocation that has been negotiated and agreed to by the individual municipalities."

For more on Abele's vetoes, click here.

David Cotey November 15, 2011 at 07:28 PM
I think the paramedic program is dead. Now it just depends if municipalities pull the plug on it in 2012 or 2013.
Joe Greenfield November 16, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I think the "current" paramedic program will soon end, but I am hopeful that all the municipalities will find a way (hopefully together) to continue to provide the needed paramedic services. It is too bad Abele doesn't seem to understand how the paramedic services work. When all the cities pull out of the program due to little or no subsidies, then the $4 million allocated to administrate the program will be a waste.


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