Talks under way to bring Farmer City into EMS distrct

Mike Trummel named new county ethics officer

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CLINTON — During the public safety committee report, Lance Reece presented an update on current talks to bring Farmer City into the DeWitt County EMS district.  Farmer City currently levies the maximum amount to pay for ambulance service, but is still is not enough, Reece reported.

Farmer City originally had its own EMS service when the county established its present system in 2012.

“There are a lot of moving parts to this,” Reece said.  

In the talks the county has had so far with Farmer City officials, establishing an intergovernmental agreement or placing a referendum on the November election ballot were the two options discussed.

In the case of an intergovernmental agreement, the county would negotiate with the Farmer City Fire Protection District to provide EMS services.  Reece said this option also would require the county to negotiate with the company that provides services.

Farmer City’s current service provider agreement expires at the end of June 2020, which would leave a gap of a little more than four months before the November referendum, Reece said.

He said more questions awaited answers from the Illinois Attorney General’s office regarding the nature of a possible referendum, whether Farmer City alone or Farmer City and DeWitt County would be required to hold referendums.  Reece also said the county had requested an estimate of cost from the provider for bringing Farmer City into the EMS district.

Farmer City’s participation in the county’s EMS district could result in a tax increase for DeWitt County residents, although that is not yet certain, nor is the possible amount of such an increase.

Additional business

Retired Illinois State Police (ISP) trooper Mike Trummel was appointed county ethics officer.  The board adopted a policy against discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

DeWitt County State’s Attorney Dan Markwell said the recommendation came through the county’s risk management.  The recommendation was forwarded by the board’s finance committee.

Markwell said the ordinance was in compliance with State of Illinois laws covering the same issues.  He said, along with the ordinance, the recommendation was to use an ethics officer.  Trummel would receive an hourly rate when investigating cases that might arise.  He currently serves as armed security at the county building.  Trummel served as an ISP crime scene investigator before his retirement and is a DeWitt County native.

Also, the board appointed Nelson Thorp and Dennis Streight to the DeWitt County Board of Review with terms to expire on December 31, 2022.