Concerns over ambulance service raised in Mingo Junction
MINGO JUNCTION — Village Council on Tuesday heard concerns from a village resident about the number of ambulance runs the village’s fire department is making to Steubenville.
Martin Sohovich said he learned last week through the media that Steubenville relies on a private ambulance service.
“The citizens of Mingo have long appreciated and supported their fire, police and emergency (medical) services. We recently passed a levy providing much-needed tax dollars to re-equip and strengthen our commitment to providing these community-funded services,” Sohovich said in a letter to council.
Sohovich said the village’s ambulance has been making runs to the South End of Steubenville. He said Steubenville’s government doesn’t put money into ambulance services.
“As a Mingo taxpayer, I resent the use of our emergency services department to support a neighboring community that does not share the same commitment to its citizens,” Sohovich said, adding the village might not receive compensation for providing those services and leaving village taxpayers holding an “empty reimbursement bag.”
Sohovich in his letter requested the village “cease” responding to ambulance calls in Steubenville. He is asking for a review of the frequency of the ambulance runs and costs versus return of providing aid to neighboring communities under mutual-aid agreements.
“If we are getting the short end of the stick, then perhaps it is time to make some changes,” he said.
Councilman Jack Brettell agreed, saying, “We have no business going out of town. We should be taking care of what is here.”
Brettell said the village’s ambulance is answering too many calls in Steubenville.
He requested the emergency medical services board meet to discuss the issue. Fire Chief John Wright, Clerk James Huggins, Solicitor Ernest Wilson, a councilmemer and a citizen are members of the board.
Village Administrator Bob Smith said crews are installing piping and drainage at the ball fields. He said work should be completed in the next couple of weeks.
Police Chief Joe Sagun said he has a candidate to serve as the detective in the police department. Council in October approved the creation of the detective position. Sagun said the candidate is completing requirements for the job,including a background check.
Council’s finance committee will meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6 to discuss the budget. Council’s water and sewer committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the water plant.
Council approved a resolution thanking Jeffrey Schuetz for his time serving on council and for the work he does in the community.
Brettell, who serves as council’s recreation committee chairman, thanked village resident Mike Boca for volunteering a week of his time to trim trees at Aracoma Park.
Councilman George Irvin, chairman of council’s economic development committee, informed council about available grant money associated with the federal opportunity zone, which includes most of the village. The grant money could be used to make land attractive for economic development, such as land near the Commercial Street exit ramp.