In a letter Friday morning, Effingham County Board Chairman Jim Niemann said that no action would be taken at today’s special County Board meeting, scheduled for 3:30, due to incomplete paperwork. This after word of a tentative agreement between Effingham County and Altamont Ambulance after three years of legal disputes was announced. Niemann said that another meeting date would be set to discuss the issue.
The original agenda for Friday’s meeting included a vote to authorize the sale of the County’s ambulance service contract to a new company following a closed session to brief board members on the agreement. Niemann would not confirm what company would be purchasing the contract due to legal reasons.
The dispute between the two parties began after the Effingham County Board passed an ordinance allowing for other ambulance services to handle non-emergency transfers in Effingham County. Representatives of Altamont Ambulance claimed that the ordinance violated their contract with the County and filed suit. The county filed a counter suit in response. The ordinance was passed to relieve the burden on Altamont Ambulance after concerns about the number of vehicles they could deploy was raised by the Ambulance Oversight Committee.
In July Altamont Ambulance faced over 300,000 in OHSA fines after numerous safety violations were reported. The company chose to contest those violations.