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Ambulance Service Changes Discussed at New Baden City Council Meeting

By Jade Marceau–Mary

After a long discussion regarding the Ambulance Special Service area, The New Baden Ambulance Service currently services New Baden, Albers, Damiansville, and Looking Glass Township, and the changes in the SSA will not change the service area for the Ambulance Service. On the other hand, hearings from last night were about dissolving the current SSA for New Baden, and forming a new SSA with a new maximum tax rate, in order to more adequately fund the Ambulance Service. Under the current SSA, the maximum tax rate is 0.26%. If the ordinance passes to form the new SSA, the maximum tax rate would be 0.40%. As stated during the hearing last night, it is not our intention to levy the maximum rate at this time, this would just allow us to levy over the 0.26% current max. Albers and Damiansville, have also, or will be having similar hearings to accomplish the same result. Looking Glass Township had to take it to a vote, in which case their referendum passed this past April.

Afterward, Kevin Schmidt introduced himself to the council as the new state representative for New Baden in St. Clair County. Although Charles Meier is still in office, Schmidt will be working alongside him. During the citizens’ opportunity to address the village board consent agenda, one stood to share his disagreement with the emergency service building being built in the park and ask for the board to look for a different location. He was then supported by part of the audience in the council.

The Board then approved the Minutes from the Regular Meetings on June 5 and June 20, 2023. They did not have to approve minutes from the July 3, 2023 meeting since this one was canceled due to lack of business. The Board authorized payment of current invoices, reviewed and filed correspondence, requested for the Closure of the Circle Drive at Village Park for the Fall Farmers Markets on Saturday, November 4, 2023, and requested for the Closure of the alley at 100 E Birch St (O.W.Billhartz Civic Center) on Sunday, December 3, 2023, for Winter Farmers Market. The board also approved the hire of Selinna Ford as PRNEMT Basic. Selinna is a 5-year DMT, she runs with MedStar full-time in East St. Louis, “so she definitely got her experience,” to come work part-time in New Baden. The board approved the termination of the contract for 2023 lawn maintenance with Seasons 2 Seasons, after having some issues with performing to fulfill the contract since April-May. Meanwhile, they also authorized the contract for the remainder of 2023 lawn maintenance with Blake Twenhafel for Greenmount Cemetery, City Cemetery, Richter School Rd at Love’s Travel Stop, and Welcome Sign on West Hanover St.

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