Hoquiam outsources ambulance billing, drops resident write-off

No more special treatment for Hoquiam residents when it comes to ambulance billing. The Hoquiam City Council last night adopted a new ordinance that outsources that department, and standardizes rates. Resident Dave Forbes said during the public comment period “I know that our city’s in a real financial bind, but the citizens of Hoquiam have stepped forward several times in the past with special fees that we’ve been paying for a long time that were supposed to have helped pay for the ambulance service for the average citizen in Hoquiam and it sounds to me like we’re doing away with just about all of that.” The council last night got a look at a balanced budget proposal by Finance Director Mike Folkers, which assumes lower service levels, and the changes in ambulance fees. “As you know today we go out, we take you on an ambulance trip, we bill your insurance. Anything that’s left over from that trip we write off, for Hoquiam residents. That’s problematic for us for a number of reasons but it doesn’t help us.” City Administrator Brian Shay likened the problem to your water department “The average homeowner pays a water bill every month, they get a water leak, they want us to come over and shut their water off, we send a guy over there with a truck and we charge him $30. We get a call for someone to check their blood pressure, we’ll send two highly trained personnel in $100,000 ambulance, and [currently] there’s no charge. Attempting to put the brakes on the idea, Councilman Greg Grund postponed a vote on one of the the committee reports “You know you can charge somebody to death with all of these fees and everything, I think it should be tabled because people have the right to know what’s gonna happen and what’s gonna change. Tabling this until the next meeting I don’t see how that does any harm.” His motion stalled the non-transport-section of the ordinance which allows the city to bill you a flat rate if an ambulance shows up but doesn’t transport you. The council went on to adopt the new billing policies, and an Indigent Care policy last night.

Two rescued from Beacon Hill house fire in Hoquiam

A volunteer firefighter, and Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers evacuated two elderly people from a Beacon Hill home as flames and smoke were visible from across the harbor yesterday afternoon.

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Stolen city truck found after parking complaint filed with the city of Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The City of Aberdeen found its stolen truck, it turned up after a homeowner called to complain that it had been parked in front of his house for the past 5 days. Aberdeen Police report minimal damage to the vehicle, but could not go into detail as to how it was stolen from the parking lot of a store in the 200 block of Market street Friday afternoon. The tan 2001 Chevy extended cab belongs to the water department and has city emblems on each door. It was parked in the 600 block of McKinley Avenue with only some tools missing when it was recovered Wednesday morning. The incident remains under investigation.
Detective Sergeant Art Laur tells us this is the time of year that his department sees a spike in auto thefts, and many are crimes of opportunity. "It's getting colder, and with vehicles iced up in the morning, people generally go out and they start their vehicles and they leave them running." Laur said besides being illegal to leave a vehicle running unattended, "it's just not a good idea."

Road Buckles in South Aberdeen, Interrupts Water Service

ABERDEEN, Wash. - A water main break this morning has interrupted service to parts of Aberdeen and Cosmopolis. Residents reported loosing water pressure before 11 this morning. Aberdeen's Water Department said the break apparently occurred when the road buckled near the intersection of Heremin and Lewis streets, and could provide no estimate for a restoration time, crews are on scene and working to restore service.

Le Mays Garbage Truck Rolls Over in Hoquiam

On Wednesday 2/25/09 at about 1:00 PM Hoquiam police responded to the report of an overturned truck at Bay Avenue and 23rd Street. When officers arrived on the scene they saw a 1997 Le Mays garbage truck on his side against the fence on the south side of the roadway.

The driver of the Mack Truck, 51 year old William Karr of Cosmopolis, told officers he was rounding the corner from 23rd Street onto Bay Avenue when he felt the truck “jolt” and it began to slowly tip over.  Several witness told officers that the truck was not traveling very fast when it began to roll over. The truck was fully loaded with garbage at the time it rolled over.