LEWIS — The Lewis Town Council was given a presentation of facts and figures on behalf of the Elizabethtown-Lewis EMS by its vice-president Patty Bashaw after there were previous concerns expressed about the organization’s finances.

Interest was high for the meeting as evident when town council member Dave Blades remarked as he entered, “I have never see so many at a town hall meeting.”

EL-EMS provides the resources to cover a population, according to the 2010 Census, of 2,545 (Lewis 1,382 and E’town 1,163) within 168 square miles.

There is an increased population during the summer, and on weekdays when the Essex County Government Center is open in Elizabethtown. In addition E-L EMS responds to accidents on the Northway and at fires.

Currently there are two ambulances, a “White” 2000 vintage vehicle with over 12,000 hours on the engine. There is currently $128,000 in the Ambulance Account.

A new ambulance would cost approximately $240,000. The “Brown” ambulance, purchased in 2010, will eventually need to be “re-cabbed” which will save between $85,000 and $125,000 versus buying a new vehicle.

There is also a medic car purchased in 2017 at a cost of $22,250 that is considered, “critical,” as it often responds faster than an ambulance and in several cases may have saved lives.

Addressing the town council, Bashaw said, “We would appreciate getting money before the end of June.”

It was indicated Elizabethtown provides its funding in February.

Lewis Town Supervisor James Monty responded, “We get no minutes of your meetings. We would really like to see them. We have to account for money This (Lewis) board gets regular updates to see where we are.”

Bashaw also stated, “There is some misinformation out there, such as me driving the EMS vehicle to Newcomb.”

Monty added, “Communication is the key. No one wants to see this service go away.” He then quipped, “I’m one French fry away from a heart attack.”

Yearly Revenues

Among the statistics for yearly income from 2018 and as of July 2019 were: revenue recovery, which comes from billing at $78,284 and 36,281; general fund drive $3,250; miscellaneous donations $1,368 and $17,827; Town of Lewis $34,000 and $34,000; Town of E’town $37,000 and $44,000; fundraiser, nothing listed in 2018 and $4,792; Westport Contract $70,000 ($65,000 payroll plus 10 percent administration).

This plus incidental amounts brings the totals to $169,478 for 2018 and $208,815 so far in 2019.

However, it must be noted that the 2019 figures include the addition of $70,000 from the Westport contract, which was necessitated by that town not having enough EMTs to provide full coverage.

Yearly Expenses

The expenses for the past and current years were listed as: Legal fees $8,481 (none listed for 2019); capital purchase $5,600 and $0; loan re-payment – USDA $1,176, now fully paid; billing EMR $3,099 and $3,860; education $3,881 and $3,420.

For paid staff the figures are: payroll $46,882 and $36,381; employee medical $6,728 and $8,077; federal tax $17,712 and $9,290; state taxes $3,222 and $1,409; employee comp insurance, $1,293 and $1,043; accountant fees $959 and $2,575; clothing allowance $259 and $829.

Other expenses are comp insurance for volunteers $8,417 and $9,875, commercial insurance $12,051 and $12,812; medical supplies $3,732 and $2,399; oxygen $1,385 and $1,138; propane/heat $1,313 and $2,423; ambulance maintenance/repairs $5,511 and $8,646; hall repairs $1,177 and $1,985.

Total Expenses including lesser amounts were: $173,711 and $131,281.

Year-end account totals: Checking $6,155 and $11,974; savings $115, 429 and $128,797 (for new ambulance); money market $70,022; FASNY account $59,711 and $59,072.

Hourly figures were also presented with paid staff accumulating 3,119 hours up to Aug. 31, of this year. Volunteer hours amounted to 10,133 which if they had been reimbursed at $29 an hour would have amounted to $293,871.

Bashaw also indicated they hope to have a banquet for all those associated with E-L EMS to show appreciation as an event like this has not been held for several years.

Monty is waiting for a report from accountant Barbara Dwyer before any future decisions will be made.


Other Business

Town of Lewis Historian Jean W. Dickerson, representing Steven and Julie Ives, inquired about the town supporting their efforts to place a state Historic Marker at their residence.

It is to honor the birthplace and home of La Rhett L. Livingston, a West Point graduate who was twice brevetted for valor during the War Between the States.

There is no cost to the town as a grant would be appropriated by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. The Board gave approval for the Ives Family to apply for the marker.

Nancy Duff-Campbell requested the board’s backing to proceed with a petition to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to officially designate a nearby mountain’s appellation, which is also known as Mt. Discovery, to Mt. Inez.

The proposed change is to honor Inez Milholland, a suffragist who perhaps is best known for riding a white steed through the streets of Washington, D.C.

The Lewis Town Board gave tacit approval to the renaming pending a 30 day comment period the forms of which can be accessed on the town’s website, (www.lewisny.com) or in person.

Email Alvin Reiner at: rondackrambler@gmail.com


Alvin Reiner determined hermit/forest ranger. Grad. NYS Ranger School, Grad: Utah State (BS Forestry); BYU (BS Elem. Ed.); PSU (MS Ed). Employed: NYS Cons. Dept. Teacher and EMT on Navajo Rez; Retired 6th gr. teacher-ELCS; Vietnam Vet.

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