Moline Discusses Potential Ambulance Fee Increase - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Discusses Potential Ambulance Fee Increase

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The city of Moline says it's losing money on its ambulance service. So officials are talking about increasing the city's ambulance fees.

The last time the city did that was in October 2009.

"We're currently losing fees on that service," said Mayor Scott Raes. "So this is an attempt to recoup that by revisiting what we're charging."

As of right now, the city charges between $660 and $770 for its ambulance life support services. But it says the revenue it's getting from that isn't enough to cover operating costs.

With the rising cost, we're trying to recover a lot of the cost we have going into the EMS business," said Moline Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Allen. "Whether it's the supplies, the man power, the increased fuel costs. We're trying to stay consistent with what the other services in the area and the region are billing for."

In order to break even, the city says it would need to make an extra $200,000 from the fees.

That would mean increasing fees from about $30 for the basic service ... To as much as about $400 for the most advanced.

"It is a significant increase in fees and that is something that is always concerning to me," said Alderman at Large Stephanie Acri.

Ald. Acri was one of the council members against the fee increase when it came up last year. The majority of the council voted against it then ... Saying it wouldn't be fair to people without insurance.

But Acri said she's keeping an open mind...

"I am open to doing the right thing," she said. "I want to get more information on it. I consider the ambulance services we have in this community - we have a monopoly on that, so we have to be very careful that we're not over-charging for those services."

Because aldermen voted against the increase recently, Mayor Raes wasn't sure if the fee increase proposal would pass when presented to the Committee of the Whole Tuesday night.

"I'm not sure how the vote will go because as I said, last year it did get voted down," Mayor Raes said before the meeting. "But we do have three new people since the last vote. So I guess we'll find out tonight."

After some questions from the aldermen ... The proposal passed. Now it will be up to the council to decide at upcoming sessions if the fees will increase.

The council is expected to start making decisions on the potential fee increase by Sept. 10.