STOCKTON SPRINGS — Town Manager Mac Smith presented the Select Board with a letter from the Prospect Select Board Dec. 16, which said the board would seek approval for the proposed one-year contract for ambulance service from Stockton at its 2022 town meeting, and would recommend residents vote in favor of the contract.

In addition, board members said in their letter, dated Dec. 2, that they hope Stockton Springs will “enter into negotiations with Prospect to form a joint, shared ambulance department” that would replace the contract arrangement by April 2023.

Prospect Select Board member Diane Terry told The Republican Journal Dec. 17 that for a long time the two towns have had “a very loose agreement that’s worked beautifully,” but her town would like to have a formal agreement. She also noted that Prospect’s name has been on the side of Stockton Springs’ ambulances (along with Stockton’s name) for a number of years.

Smith told TRJ the Stockton board had asked him to look into what would be involved in a transition to a joint department and what he called “the fine details” of Prospect’s proposal before the Jan. 20, 2022, meeting, where the two boards will gather in person to continue the discussion.

He said among his first steps will be to consult Ambulance Director Amy Drinkwater about whether she knows of any other towns that have a shared ambulance service.

He noted that Prospect had previously made annual contributions to the Ambulance Department budget of $7,000 or $8,000, and that the Prospect Select Board had been aware, since it first approached him in March about a more formal relationship, that putting the service on a contractual basis would include an increase in the cost.

The one-year contract offered by Stockton at a cost of $38,574 is based on the result of subtracting the revenue generated by calls to Prospect from the cost to respond to those calls, using 2020 numbers.

The fact that Prospect’s name is on the ambulances, Smith said, “is a symbol of the close working relationship the two towns have had for decades.” Speaking on behalf of the town, he added, “We like the fact that we’re all trying to work together.”

In other business, the board voted to accept the resignations of Richard Pendleton from the Cemetery Committee and Kathy Kamzelski from the Board of Assessment Review. It also voted to appoint Andrea Staples and Charlie Zorich to the Board of Assessment Review.

Smith explained that, with Kamzelski’s resignation, the Board of Assessment Review was down to two members and would not have been able to operate. The appointment of two new members solves that problem and adds one more member, he said. He added that additional appointments are expected after the first of the year.

The next meeting will be at the Town Office Thursday, Jan. 6, at 8 a.m.

filed under: