Spending to run Morristown’s Emergency Medical Service department is going up, but not by much.
A preliminary budget proposal seeks $660,092, up about $30,000 from current spending.
The Morristown Selectboard will continue to review and modify budget proposals from all departments into early January before finalizing a town-wide budget proposal for voter approval on Town Meeting Day in March.
One of the main increases to the department’s proposed budget is for personnel, almost $20,000 more than the current budget of $407,639. The vast majority of the increase is for health insurance — that cost will go up to $46,295. The department’s communications budget is set to increase a bit too. It’s proposed at $59,244, up roughly $4,000 from current spending. Part of that total is what the department pays for dispatch services. Morristown’s three emergency departments — EMS, fire and police —split the cost of paying for dispatch through the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department. This year, Morristown EMS’s cost for dispatch would go up from $45,155 to $46,724. An extra $3,000 is also included in the budget proposal to pay to replace some of the department’s existing equipment.
One of the only other proposed increases is for building maintenance, up almost $5,000 to $25,550.
The proposed budget also allocates $12,500 for a new kitchen at the station, where volunteers and paid staff both spend long shifts. To counteract that proposed increase, Chief Bill Mapes eliminated other spending in building maintenance, including dropping $9,100 in the current budget that was used to replace aging equipment last year. The department’s electric bill is expected to increase roughly $1,000 this year as well, but its heating oil bill is expected to drop by a similar amount.