Community members gather for Q&A in Webster over EMS ambulance funding

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WEBSTER, N.Y. — Dozens of people met in the Webster Thomas High School auditorium to ask questions about plans to fix the town’s EMS service problems.

Town Board members said they hope to have a short term plan dealing with EMS coverage and services implemented by the end of the month, but not before giving people in the community a chance to have their voices heard.

Barb Amering said that she is just happy to taxpayers finally have a chance to ask questions.

“The town is obviously trying very hard to do the right thing for the taxpayers and the people of Webster, but there has to be another side of the story,” Amering said.

As community members took to the microphone, several had questions for Northeast Quadrant Advanced Life Support and it’s request for the creation of an EMS tax district costing $800,000 in taxpayer dollars.

As one of the panelists, NEQUALS Director Ahmed Mustafa defending not making the company’s financials public.

“Our audit and financials have not been made public. We are a private business. releasing that information out the public would give some of our competitors a competitive advantage about how we run our business,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa said that more funding is needed because of the unpredictability of income for the past two years — an argument that Laurie Reynolds doesn’t find convincing.

“The Webster Citizen Action League is against the district, making it a tax district for residents. We prefer that the town board look into the option of making it a department,” Reynolds said.

But others like Amering said that they’re open to the idea of more funding as long as taxpayers have a chance to have their voices heard.

“They need to get more input from Webster residents themselves that are taxpayers and are willing to pay for this, or not. Personally, we are,” Amering said.