The Delta Junction City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday evening. One of the topics on the agenda was to discuss renewing the contract between the City and Delta Medical Transport (DMT) that expired on June 30, 2019.
DMT has been providing ambulance service under contract to the City since 2013. The contract was renewed for another two-year period on June 23, 2017. The City has agreed to pay DMT $25,000 per year and provide other support for providing this service in the community.
Currently DMT is not under contract to provide any service to the community, but is continuing to operate as usual until contract negotiations have been completed. One of the proposed changes to the new contract between the City and DMT is that the compensation provided will be increased to $50,000.
During the city budget-planning sessions held in June, $50,000 had already been placed into the budget for emergency medical services for Delta Medical Transport.
DMT also has operations in Glennallen and Fairbanks. According to Delta Junction Mayor JW Musgrove, DMT had approached the City saying they are not making any money in Delta and were looking to have the City increase the compensation paid to DMT.
In the past, there was a legislative grant that covered a portion of their operating supplies, but it expired in June of 2016. According to city administrator Mary Leith, there was about $25,000 remaining on the grant for EMS Rescue Squad Ambulance that was available for supplies to stock the ambulance.
The City Council all agreed that the service received from DMT is satisfactory. Council member Charles Lester commented that he is against single source contracts. When the next contract is coming to an end Lester would like to see the service go up for bid.
Council member Alan Levinson made a motion that the City pay DMT as if they had already been awarded the $50,000 contract while negotiations continue. The Council approved the motion.
Following the meeting Musgrove was asked when the City first began negotiations with DMT for the new contract and he replied, “Two or three weeks ago.” About the time contract expired, but after the $50,000 was included in the budget. When pressed as to why the negotiations did not start many weeks before the end of the contract, Musgrove declined to make any further comments.