Ridgewood April 1, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 9 Council’s move will save $404,000 in tax funds by John Koster The Ridgewood Village Council recognized the success of a once-controversial program to bill citizens for ambulance services with a one-year extension that is projected to save the taxpayers $404,000 over the full year of the contract. Some ambulance corps members and other residents had opposed the move last year when the newly elected Ridgewood Village Council approved a plan by Emergency Services Director Brian Pullman to bill people who ride in Ridgewood ambulances so that those who can afford to pay for the rides do so. Council members ascertained that no one would be declined an ambulance ride if he or she could not pay, and the billing would take place after the rides had been completed. Some people, EMT workers said, use the ambulances for free rides rather than contract commercial ambulances even when they can afford to pay for them. Others, who could not afford paid ambulance services, would continue to be allowed to ride without charge, and no attempts at billing would ever take place during an emergency situation, when the point is to get treatment for the individual as quickly as possible. Opponents had asserted that Ridgewood taxpayers are already paying for ambulance services through their property taxes, and that some people might be dissuaded from calling an ambulance when they needed one because they feared the expense. Concerns that Ridgewood EMT workers might be denied training and insurance if the ambulance rides were cited, but the prob- lem never materialized. The first partial year of the contract with Ambulance Reimbursement, a professional billing firm that received 6.75 percent of each bill submitted and collected, was said to have brought in $251,000 in payment for ambulance rides to date. The projection that Ridgewood could collect more than $400,000 for the first full year of the three-year contract prompted a unanimous renewal by the council. The council also approved two smaller savings at last week’s work session. The Ridgewood Fire Department was authorized to sell 10 obsolete 1981-vintage Scott Packs for $25 each so the purchaser can use them for spare parts, for a saving of $250. The replacement of the breathing apparatus is ongoing. The council also approved the suggestion that Ridgewood’s welfare be handed over to Bergen County when Ridgewood Welfare Director Gail Battaglia retires. Battaglia told council members that she generally forwarded Ridgewood’s small share of welfare cases to the county in any case. Saturdays 2-4 PM, WOR Radio 710AM New Day, New Time ALL MAKE & MODELS • IMPORTED & DOMESTIC Servicing your new vehicle with us will not void your warranty. THE CAR DOCTOR RADIO SHOW est. 1978 201-652-5250 R A Automotive NJ State Inspection Center 59 West Prospect St. Waldwick, NJ 07463 (2 blocks west of the Waldwick Train Station) “HOME OF THE CAR DOCTOR” COMPLETE AUTO REPAIR Visit us on the web at www.raauto.com ready • set • GROW! Caring for outstanding gardens for over 20 years ONE SOURCE FOR ALL YOUR LANDSCAPE NEEDS ENJOY YOUR SPRING BREAK SAVE 20% Off Spring Cleanup 2 Free fertilizer applications. Discount applies towards New Full Service Contracts only. New customers only. TRUST YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES TO OUR FULL SERVICE MAINTENANCE, CONSTRUCTION, AND DESIGN COMPANY WITH ORGANIC LAWN AND TREE CARE, IRRIGATION AND LIGHTING. COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL INSURED BONDED MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LEISURE TIME CALL FOR FREE CONSULTATION 201-447-LAWN (5296) www.landscapeworks.net Member N.J.L.C.A & N.J. Turf Grass Assoc. Home Improvement Contractor #13V01991900