Council to hold public hearing on ambulance fee

By on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla City Council will hold a public hearing and could vote on an ordinance establishing an ambulance utility fee tonight at 6:30 p.m. The proposed ambulance utility fee is monthly fee of $12.65 that will be added to the bill of each city utility customer. Beginning January 1, 2023, the ambulance utility fee is projected to raise $1.5 million annually.

The city’s ambulance fund has operated in the red since 2017 requiring annual general fund subsidies. For fiscal years 2021 and 2022, the general fund is expected to subsidize the ambulance fund $1.2 million annually. City staff is proposing the implementation of the ambulance utility fee as a sustainable model to fund ambulance services.

The council will also consider approving a professional services contract with Hewitt Architects, Inc. of Seattle for design and construction management of the Heritage Square rebuild project for $567,325. Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Director Andy Coleman said a consultant is needed  because there are multiple aspects of the project that his staff do not have the necessary expertise or qualifications to perform.

The $2.5 million project is to make the park, located on Main Street, function as a town square. Added amenities would be a stage, built-in seating, a Mill Creek overlook and recirculating water/mist feature. The project is anticipated to advertise for bids in the spring of 2022 with construction being completed by the end of 2022.

The meeting is on Zoom. The meeting ID is 871 7006 4735. Members of the public may also view the meeting on the council’s page of the city website.