LIMA — The Lima Police and Fire departments may soon be able to recover funds from time and resources used during non-EMS-related accidents.
At Monday’s Lima City Council meeting, the council received a communication from Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin and Lima Fire Chief Bruce Black requesting consideration for entering into partnership with Cost Recovery Corp. for billing at-fault parties at traffic crashes that do not require medical assistance.
“As it currently is, emergency medical service response is already billed for by the fire department, so what this would involve would be the police and fire billing for the non-EMS crashes,” Martin said. “This would be billing at or below cost.”
Martin said both Lima Police and Lima Fire respond to thousands of accidents in the city every year, and by being able to recover some of the costs derived from non-injury accidents in terms of wages and resources, it would be beneficial to Lima taxpayers in multiple ways.
“That time those officers are tied up on a traffic crash, that keeps them from being able to tend to other duties, such as proactive policing, in order to try to reduce gun violence,” he said. “It’s a burden on the taxpayers for something they haven’t created or caused.”
There are multiple ways that Lima City Council could approach this issue, whether it be billing only at-fault parties within the city or billing any at-fault party no matter where they are from. Costs could also vary depending on the level of response, Martin said.
“A serious accident would come with more cost than a simple fender-bender,” he said.
The communication was referred to the council’s finance committee for further review. Martin said he hopes to have police and fire representation, as well as a representative from Cost Recovery Corp., on hand to address any of the council’s concerns.
In other business, the council defeated a resolution to create a city land bank manager position by a vote of 6-2, with council President John Nixon and 7th Ward Councilwoman Ann Miles casting the votes in favor of creating the position.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.