CHESTER, Vermont – The Chester Selectboard meeting on Wednesday, September 15 addressed several issues regarding the public safety building, including donations from Yosemite Engine Company, negotiating emergency service costs for Andover and increasing invoicing of ambulances.
The public security building’s open house is scheduled for Sunday, September 26, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Various demonstrations will be provided by the fire, police and ambulance services and residents will be allowed to visit the building. Hot dogs, fries and water will be provided.
City Manager Julie Hance is hosting a joint session with Andover’s Selectboard and Chester’s Selectboard, along with Chester’s Fire Chief and Ambulance Chief to address the confusion and lack of understanding that have arose as the two cities determine Andover’s allocation for Chester’s emergency services coverage.
Hance said based on the details that emerged from the recent Andover Selectboard meeting, there was a need to clarify how the mutual aid and fire services work.
Board chairman Arne Jonynas agreed it was important to have as many people who can answer as many questions as possible among Chester’s emergency services staff.
Ben Whalen, from the non-profit Yosemite Engine Company, gave a presentation to the board detailing recent donations provided to the public security building, which included furniture, television screens, kitchen equipment and air conditioning for a total of $ 37,000. YEC’s mission is to promote goodwill and benefit the Chester Fire Department. Fundraising efforts include Christmas tree sales, the Chester’s Festival on the Green, a calendar raffle, and an annual appeal.
At the next open house, furniture throughout the public security building, including the new training room, will be labeled with their names so residents can see their contributions and know these items are not going out of the box. bond or city tax base. .
Hance highlighted the training room, saying it is a catalyst for great things including running internal EMT courses and providing space for other departments in the city to organize their training and instruction. , as well as opening up space for regional training opportunities.
Board member Jeff Holden also said in a statewide emergency it could be an emergency command center and shelter.
Ambulance billing rates have been increased in response to a recommendation from Chester Ambulance’s new billing collection partner, Comstar. Part of Comstar’s services includes an audit of their billing, and they have identified that Chester’s current rate for ambulance services is 48% lower than the state average. Rather than raising rates to average, Hance agreed to a rate hike midway between Chester’s current rates and the state average. The new rates will be posted on the city’s website, according to Hance.
The city will be holding a separate meeting to discuss how the city would like to use Chester’s ARPA funding, which will total nearly $ 900,000 in total once everything is received. Hance attends a meeting with other state officials to fully understand the restrictions and guidelines on how the funds can be used. Hance recommended scheduling the meeting for early November after attending that meeting.
The next regular Chester Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. at the City of Chester office.