By Max Hrenda
Despite concern over the handling of contract negotiations, the Carter County Commission has agreed to terms on a four-year service contract for the Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad.
During its meeting Monday night, commissioners voted 21-1 in favor of the contract, which will pay the Rescue Squad $170,000 per year to be the county’s exclusive provider of emergency rescue services.
Although the contract’s approval marked the end of almost two years of on-and-off negotiations with the Rescue Squad, several at the meeting voiced concern over the method by which an agreement was finally reached.
County Mayor Leon Humphrey asked how the terms of this latest offer had been decided, noting the county had previously been unable to agree on either a cost or duration of any contract.
“Initially, a year ago, we were talking about a four-year agreement,” Humphrey said. “Then we changed course and were talking about a one-year agreement, and that one-year agreement was for $225,000. Now we have a four-year agreement.
“Mr. Chairman, since you’re the one that’s been doing the negotiations, can you tell me how you and the parties that were involved in the negotiations determined that this $170,000 for a four-year term is what’s in the best interest of the taxpayers of Carter County?”