Lyndon Rescue and Town Meeting Day

lyndonrescuethumbnailLYNDONVILLE - With Vermont's 2018 Town Meeting Day now past, the future of Lyndon Rescue has been secured under the town's appropriation. At the Town Meeting the appropriation providing additional funding to Lyndon Rescue was passed as part of a lump collection of multiple appropriation items; after a brief discussion between the selectboard and members of the community, the budget was passed.

Jon Bouffard, the head of Lyndon Rescue, was very pleased that the bill passed. With such a large increase in appropriations to their ambulatory service, Mr. Bouffard will now be able to pay his EMT's properly, and he will also be able to afford all the necessary equipment that is required for Emergency Services.
      One of Lyndon Rescue's Chiefs, Delbert Reed, was very happy to see that their appropriation had passed. "It was extremely necessary for the appropriation to pass, without it we would have most likely not been able to continue serving the community." A Seventy-Eight percent increase from last year's budget brought Lyndon Rescue to ask for a $105,764 increase in funding, but Lyndon Rescue assured that every cent is needed. "We've discovered there were some things that were not previously included in our budget," said board President John Kascenska, "we've also experienced some increases as well, dispatching services is one of them."
Director of Operations, Jon Bouffard, also had a lot to say about the budget increases. "It didn't seem fair, we weren't paying our EMT's enough for their services, with this budget increase, the starting rate will be $13 and hour. Now when people come in they are paid in full." Mr. Bouffard also discussed that the other driving force in prices were the fact that the cost of service was becoming more and more expensive. Items like Epic-Pens and Glucose shots have only become higher in price, and these items are required for the ambulatory service to be able to do their job. If they can't pay for these items, then they can't save lives when these items are needed.
     The select board was reached out to by Lyndon Rescue in December, and since that time the two have met on multiple occasions to work out a budget that could be agreed upon by both parties, and at the select board meeting on the night of the 22nd, the select board adopted the budget into the town plan. Marty Feltus, who was the chair of the Lyndon select board at the time, along with her fellow members knew that a budget like this was unavoidable for proper ambulance services. "It was a matter of recognizing the actual cost of running a quality ambulance service for our residents, a recognition that the service was perhaps not adequately funded in the past and a recognition that Lyndon has a contractual relationship, long-standing, with Lyndon Rescue.
     Moving away from lyndon rescue and casting a larger focus on Town Meeting Day as a whole, members of the selectboard were also pleased that the town budget had been passed, although the selectboard and members of our local government felt that the declining number of town members who attend Town Meeting is hurting the direction of the town. ""We keep taking components of town meeting out because of the rightful frustration that we have a need to have more people participate. But democracy really was never meant to be easy. It was meant to have people force themselves to take time out of their day jobs, come off their farms, lose money in the process but gather as a community to have conversation" Says Vermont Senator Joe Benning.
     Without members of the community voting, members of town government cannot hear where the community is at with the appropriations, and the community is thereby choosing to stay silent on the day when their voice is the most audible.


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