The Pine Bluff City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposed ordinance awarding an exclusive ambulance franchise to Emergency Ambulance Service Inc. (EASI) when they meet at 5:30 p.m.
The meeting was moved from Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.
The proposed ordinance was read twice at the final council meeting of August, but efforts to read it for the third time failed. The current agreement with EASI expires Sept. 20.
According to the proposed ordinance, EASI was the choice of a committee that evaluated proposals from EASI and Pafford Medical Services, which currently operates the air ambulance service in Pine Bluff.
The committee based their recommendation on a number of factors, which included requiring a minimum of 10 fully-staffed Advanced Life Support (ALF) ambulances, a permanent base for the ambulances in Pine Bluff, along with a communications center that can link into the 911 call center.
In the committee’s recommendation, they said the information provided by EASI in their bid met or exceeded all the specifications of the city’s Request for Proposals (RFP) while Pafford’s did not.
Also up for a third reading is a proposed ordinance that would allow the wives of police officers who retired under the old city retirement system to continue to receive retirement benefits after the retired officer dies. Those benefits would apply only to officers who married after they retired and will affect a total of eight former officers. Also, the wives of retired officers who married after Dec. 31, 2016, are not eligible to receive benefits.
This proposed ordinance has been on the agenda and pulled a number of times since the beginning of the year. According to a letter from David Clark, the executive director of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System, the city would be obligated to pay $6,606 per month through the end of 2019.
A resolution approving spending $65,000 from the funds budgeted for the Delta Celebration Series of Events and Festivals for a planned family-oriented public event in December is also on the agenda. The funds are part of the 2018 city budget using receipts from the Go Forward five-eighths cent sales tax.
The proposal was on the agenda at the last meeting but was pulled after opposition from several members of the council.
Finally Tuesday, a resolution authorizing an agreement between the city and Pine Bluff Cable Television to provide the infrastructure needed to make cable television and Internet service available to neighborhoods that are currently without that service is also on the agenda.
The Economic and Community Development Department is working on a revitalization project on the north side of the city near the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and some of that area does not have cable or internet access. Pine Bluff Cable TV will construct, install and maintain the infrastructure needed at a cost to the city of $11,291.97.