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City Council discusses dog park, potential EMS service cost hike - Ocean City Sentinel: News

City Council discusses dog park, potential EMS service cost hike

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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 11:48 am

NORTHFIELD — A proposed dog park in Northfield would be 13,150 square feet, according to Councilwoman Susan Korngut, who updated City Council on the proposed project during a work session Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Members of council have discussed the project over the past few months, and residents have spoken for and against it in city council meetings. 

On Feb. 4, Korngut said the proposed dog park would be the same square footage as the Galloway Township dog park. 

She said at the next meeting, there will be an aerial view so council can see “where it is in the park” and how it will be laid out. 

Birch Grove Park is being considered for the dog park’s location.  

Councilwoman Barbara Madden said she felt the dog park was a “great idea” and that she felt it is “going to be well-received.”

In the same work session meeting, City Council discussed a large fee increase for emergency medical services. 

During a meeting Dec. 18, 2018, City Council approved an agreement to extend its contract with TriCare Medical Transportation from Feb. 28, 2019, to Feb. 27, 2020, according to meeting minutes. At that time, then-Councilman Jeff Lischin said the fee for TriCare was $1,500 per month. 

Korngut said she and other members of council met with Linwood representatives and TriCare to discuss it and said Tricare provided them with a breakdown of its expenditures. 

“Their costs have gone up significantly, or what they’re charging us has gone up,” she said. 

Korngut said they will report back after she, Madden and Council President Frank Perri meet to discuss it in more detail. 

TriCare’s fee increased by more than 100 percent, according to Korngut. 

Perri said this would be the final year of the agreement and at the end of the year council is required to have a new request for proposals. He said his recommendation is to have a meeting with TriCare. 

Councilman Brian Smith asked whether they tried to negotiate. 

Perri said they did try to negotiate “and this was what we got,” he said. 

Smith later asked if they said they were operating at a loss for the last two years. 

“Barely breaking even,” Perri answered. 

Perri felt there was “not a lot out there that we can do” before the contract expires. 

“It’s an essential service that needs to be resolved,” he said. 

“If we came back and said, ‘we don’t accept this,” they’d have to honor the contract?” Smith asked. 

Perri said the terms are negotiable “so technically we can refuse it.”

Northfield can choose not to accept it, but Linwood would have to follow suite, according to Perri. 

“If we refuse it, what other place is around?  We’re stuck,” Mayor Erland Chau said. 

The next Northfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18. 

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