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At least some Columbus City Council members want to contract with an ambulance service provider that would be free to city taxpayers.
Councilmen Tim Shuffett, Ryan Brand, Aaron Hankins and Jim Lienhoop said during a City Council meeting Tuesday that they see no reason to select any of the applicants that would require a subsidy when others have proposed to offer the service with no subsidy.
Councilman Frank Miller said he had been supportive of keeping the contract with Columbus Regional Hospital but is uncertain now. He said he, too, likes the idea of zero subsidy.
Rural/Metro Ambulance and Trans-Care Ambulance have offered to provide the city or the city and county jointly with around-the-clock emergency ambulance service at no cost.
Seals, Columbus Fire Department and Columbus Regional Hospital have said they would need subsidies of varying amounts.
The Board of Public Works and Safety is slated to make a decision about an ambulance service provider Tuesday. Mayor Kristen Brown reiterated a previous point that the city has gathered all the information it can and would not benefit by putting off a decision.
The city council has no say in the choice of a provider. However, the mayor has said she values the council’s opinions.
Earlier in the day, the Columbus Emergency Ambulance Services Board agreed to ask the mayor for more time to make a recommendation. And several members said the city and county should consider budgeting a placeholder amount in next year’s budget, to allow more time to consider the options.
Columbus City Council promised a property tax break Tuesday to auto parts manufacturer Itsuwa USA to enlarge its building.
The company, located at 1349 Acadia Drive, wants to add 14,800 square feet to accommodate installation of a new spray-painting line, which will require 12 additional employees.
Itsuwa USA, which has 30 employees, plans to start construction in January and finish its work by May 2014.
The tax break will phase in property taxes on the building addition over 10 years until full taxes are paid in Year 11. City officials use the breaks as an incentive for companies to build and expand their businesses in Columbus.
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