The Saratoga Sun -

Riverside gets some 'Air'

Riverside Council hears upcoming changes for SCWEMS, tourism information


September 26, 2018

During their regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, the Riverside Town Council heard from Helen Weiland, their representative on South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services (SCWEMS), about upcoming changes for the service area including the organization signing a contract with Classic Air Medical.

The council also heard from Marilyn Godfrey, the Riverside representative on the Carbon County Visitors Council (CCVC), and Leslie Jefferson, CCVC Executive Director.

Weiland, who had been picked to replace former representative Kelly Ralston, was joined by Encampment representative Karen Bedwell, who had been picked to replace former representative Jeb Steward. One of the first announcements made by the two SCWEMS representatives was the contract with Classic Air Medical.

“We will go into a contract with Classic Air. All the residents of SCWEMS service area will have a membership in Classic Air starting Oct. 1,” said Weiland.

“The fee will be $31 per family … and the payments will be quarterly and the payments will be made with our impact assistance funds specifically to cover the wind project employees–and then our service area residents will get to take advantage of that, also,” added Bedwell.

Both Weiland and Bedwell told the council the SCWEMS joint powers board felt that entering into this contract with Classic would only serve to augment the services that were provided to the residents of south central Wyoming. According to Bedwell, after four years of being covered by the impact assistance funds, it will be expected that the municipalities will pick up the cost of the contract.

It was also stated anyone who currently had a personal contract with Classic would receive a refund on the remainder of that contract after Oct. 1. In addition to the contract with the medical flight company, Weiland also informed the council that SCWEMS has been working on changing its business model and had voted to base their headquarters in Saratoga.

“We are making substantial changes in the way that the business model is set up for SCWEMS. We contracted with a new billing service and we are monitoring our reimbursements back and I think we are going to be able to increase our revenues that way,” Weiland said. “In the course of all this time to get our arms exactly what has happened with SCWEMS in these years, we voted to move our headquarters to Saratoga. SCWEMS’ primary office will be in Saratoga and we’ll be trying to bring all of our records and everything together.”

With the decision to base their central office in Saratoga, the current building will need to undergo some changes which include a 40’x40’ addition.

“We’re going to have to expand that building in Saratoga to accommodate more storage space for our records, offices and training facilities,” said Weiland.

Because SCWEMS cannot specifically request funding from the Specific Purpose Tax (6th Penny Tax), both Weiland and Bedwell suggested that Saratoga’s representative would talk to the Saratoga Town Council about endorsing the joint powers board for the addition. Mayor Leroy Stephenson stated that he would speak with Saratoga mayor Ed Glode at the next meeting of the Carbon County Council of Governments, if he were able to attend.

Along with hearing from Weiland and Bedwell, the council also heard from Godrey and Jefferson about the CCVC’s new Carbon County Recreation and Trails Map as well as updates on the 2017/2018 fiscal year.

The next meeting of the Riverside Town Council will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Riverside Town Hall.


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