Ambulance fees on July bills
If a resident owns more than one living unit, he may not be charged more than one ambulance fee if that living unit is permanently unoccupied or the resident himself is using it. Otherwise, both the owner and occupant are jointly liable for the ambulance fee.
Great Cacapon residents Dale McConnell and Donald Rink asked the commissioners about owning multiple lots with either a cabin or a vacation home on them.
They were advised they would only pay one ambulance fee, unless they were renting those structures or allowing someone else to live in them.
If an owner or occupant of a living unit feels they have been wrongly charged an ambulance fee, they can appeal.
The Morgan County Rescue Service or the Paw Paw Fire & Rescue Company will investigate and make their recommendation to the commission about the fee. The property owner can appeal the commissioners' decision through circuit court.
Both the Morgan County and Paw Paw squads will prepare an estimated budget for the cost of providing county emergency ambulance service by February 1 of each year.
Emergency service agencies will present their budgets to the county commission for use of ambulance fees by July 1.
The commissioners had previously discussed the possibility of billing business owners as well as home owners for ambulance fees, and finding ways to bill renters.
But Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson said that unless a business is specifically mentioned in the definition of residential living units, they would not have to pay the ambulance fee.
The commissioners also went with billing property owners instead of attempting to bill renters, she said.
The distinctions of resident, non-resident and delinquent resident were added to the ordinance to give the ambulance companies the option of billing each category differently in the future, said Hutchinson. The commission would have to first approve any changes in those rates.
Copies of the ambulance fee ordinance are available at the Morgan County Commission Office.