Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
Care center to build new facility
By Ed Gebert
ST. MARYS - Vancrest Health Care Centers of Van Wert is looking to construct a new 70,000-square-foot facility at 1035 Hager St., creating 25 new jobs.
Council members on Monday approved the enterprise zone agreement that would forgo 75 percent of property taxes for 10 years to allow Vancrest to save on construction costs. The abatement still must be approved by St. Marys City Schools officials. This agreement was negotiated by the city administration and the Auglaize County commissioners.
The new facility will be a nursing facility as well as rehabilitation center and assisted-living center. The Vancrest nursing facility at 1140 S. Knoxville Ave. will be converted into medical office space, Foxhoven said.
In other action, a company from Cincinnati now will handle patient billing for ambulance services for the St. Marys Fire Department.
Council members passed an emergency ordinance to approve a three-year contract with Medicount, which will allow the city to reduce staff by one person. The staff reduction will be through attrition. Employee Karen Bergman will retire on Nov. 30 after 28 years of service. The company will charge 6.5 percent of the amount collected from patients.
The fire department collected about 56 percent of the amount billed in 2016. Safety service director Greg Foxhoven said at last year's pace, the company would have collected about $22,000 for the 1,100 ambulance runs during the year. The city would pay the percentage, while saving money with a smaller staff in the utilities department. Medicount has about 300 clients throughout Ohio, mostly EMS services for municipalities.
Council also passed an emergency ordinance that would allow retiring police chiefs to purchase the sidearm they had carried on the job, provided the chief had been with the department at least 10 years. The provision already is offered in the contract for retiring patrolmen and sergeants. The sidearm may be purchased by the retiree for $1, and the city will pay to engrave the weapon with the retiree's name and dates of service.
A resolution was passed accepting the amounts and rates of existing tax levies as determined by the budget commission and certifying them to the Auglaize County auditor.