SWEETWATER COUNTY — Determining how to continue to fund and operate ambulance services for Sweetwater County residents was a priority discussion during Wednesday’s meeting, one of many planned to discuss consolidated services in the county.
During a special meeting between the Sweetwater County Commissioners and representatives from Rock Springs, Green River, Wamsutter, Granger, Superior and Bairoil city councils, the majority of these groups felt figuring out a funding solution to maintain an ambulance service was important to the public.
The group discussed how the county commission decided to terminate the current service contracts and all associated funding with those contracts with Sweetwater Medics and Castle Rock Ambulance Service, effective March 31, 2021. Commission Chairman Randy Wendling said both ambulance services were funded through the county and due to recent budget constraints, the county can no longer fund it alone.
Wendling said they would like to form committee to come up with ideas to find a permanent funding solution to keep ambulance services running in Sweetwater County.
Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo said he felt both the Green River and Rock Springs communities believe it’s a critical service. He said Rock Springs can lend a hand in investigating how to continue an ambulance service, however it cannot make any funding commitments at this time.
“Obviously, we see the value in participating in the ambulance service,” Green River Mayor Pete Rust said.
Wendling suggested the group form a committee tonight due to the urgency of this issue. Granger Mayor Bradly McCollum and Superior Mayor Dominic Wolf said they would check with their councils and see who would like to serve on this committee. Wamsutter Mayor Joe Erickson said he would like to be involved in the committee if the county starts looking at a county-wide ambulance service.
Rock Springs and Superior currently receive services from Sweetwater Medics, while Green River and Granger receive services from Castle Rock Ambulance. Wamsutter has its own ambulance service, while Bairoil receives services though Carbon County.
Rock Springs City Councilor Tim Robinson and Commissioner Jeff Smith were assigned to this committee. Mayor Rust said he would get back to them with his recommendation on who would sit on that committee for Green River. Granger and Superior representatives may also be added to the committee.
Rock Springs Councilor Rob Zotti said he didn’t think the formation of the committee would happen soon enough with the service contracts ending in March.
“I think we need to be working with a little sense of urgency,” Zotti said.
Wendling said he agreed with Zotti, which is why this committee would need to create an urgent, short-term, and long-term solutions to resolve this issue.
Once the committee is formed, it will start investigating what options are available for the future of the county’s ambulance services.
Other topics discussed included forming committees for the special purpose tax, joint communication service and airport. They also talked about centralized purchasing and how the county can benefit from the Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition. The group decided to meet again when they have names of those who they would like to serve on the various committees.
To see the complete list of topics on the list for future discussions click here.