Town Council roundup: Revising AMR’s contract, booking bands …

MONROE, CT — Town Council members unanimously approved a rate increase in the town’s agreement with American Medical Response, which provides a paramedic intercept, while assisting the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service on advanced life support calls.

During the council’s Monday meeting, First Selectman Ken Kellogg said AMR asked town officials to increase the rate of $335 per intercept, which had stood for a long time, to $370.

Kellogg said he believed it was a reasonable request.

The paramedic service also includes bundled billing, so patients receive one bill when more than one provider responds to a medical call.

Receiving more than one bill can cause confusion for patients and sometimes lead to them receiving less insurance coverage than they normally would and paying more out-of-pocket, according to Kellogg.

The first selectman said he and Town Attorney Frank Lieto worked with AMR on renegotiating the agreement, which also includes “relatively minor housekeeping changes” in the contract, as well as insurance adjustments.

2021 Summer Concerts

Parks and Recreation Director Missy Orosz recently started booking bands for the 2021 Summer Concert Series at Wolfe Park and the Town Council approved the contracts of two performers Monday night.

Council members unanimously voted to authorize First Selectman Ken Kellogg to move forward on agreements with Pierce Campbell 60’s Satisfaction and Nightshift.

Pierce Campbell 60’s Satisfaction will perform on July 30, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., for a fee of $700.

On Friday, Aug. 6, Nightshift will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., for a fee of $750.

The fees will be paid on the night of the show in both agreements, and if either event is canceled due to weather or the COVID-19 pandemic, the town will pay nothing.

Town Attorney Frank Lieto had reviewed the agreements and recommended it move forward to the Town Council.

New businesses

First Selectman Ken Kellogg announced several new business openings in his update to the Town Council on Monday night.

DOCS Urgent Care, 427 Main Street, opened last week, and MMI of Monroe received approvals for an approximately 27,000-square-foot expansion of a building for an industrial tenant at 74
Enterprise Drive.

“Milton & Goose is moving their warehousing and manufacturing from out of state to Monroe,” he wrote of another business in his update. “Milton & Goose is a maker of ‘high-quality, non-toxic, eco-conscious, handcrafted toys made in the USA’ with headquarters in Stamford. They will be moving
into an existing 20,000-plus square foot facility at 580 Pepper Street.”

Relaxed COVID restrictions

Gov. Ned Lamont relaxed some pandemic restrictions as the rate of new COVID-19 cases drops across the state.

Starting on March 19, 2021, the limit on private, social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues will expand to up to 50 percent capacity to a max of 100 people indoors and up to 200 outdoors, according to First Selectman Ken Kellogg.

“This does not change the current limit of 10 at private residences,” he said.

Testing, vaccinations

COVID-19 testing is now available at the Hartford Healthcare/St. Vincent’s and DOCS Medical Group urgent care centers in Monroe.

Vaccination efforts are still underway for individuals over the age of 65. Information on scheduling appointments is available on the town’s website.

First Selectman Ken Kellogg said over 2,300 Monroe residents, or about 12 percent of the town’s population, have received at least one vaccination.

The Monroe Health Department is still running clinics, which are scheduled through VAMS.

“As the eligibility groups continue to expand, we are now expanding our efforts to pre-identify individuals willing to be ‘on call’ for vaccination in the event we have any extra doses become available due to a cancelled appointment or extra doses in a vial,”Kellogg said.

Starting this week, the COVID-19 page on the town website has a link to sign up to be on a vaccination “standby” list for a specific day.

“To be on the standby list, you must be eligible and be registered in VAMS and be available to be vaccinated within the hour if called,” Kellogg said. “Details are provided on the signup page.”

On Monday, the governor released more details on future eligibility.

In a departure from an earlier communication, the state will not be vaccinating based upon “frontline essential worker” categories nor those with certain health conditions, according to Kellogg.

“The governor cited the confusion and complexity in implementation, and instead shifting to an age-based prioritization approach,” he said.

Vaccinations will be available as follows:

  • March 1st: Registration open to age 55-and-older
  • March 22nd: Registration open to age 45-and-older
  • April 12: Registration open to age 35-and-older
  • May 3: Registration open to age 16-and-older.

“Exceptions to this are pre-k through grade 12 educators and support staff, as well as licensed childcare professionals
living or working in the state, who will have dedicated vaccination clinics starting March 1st,” Kellogg said.

1 Comment

  1. A couple of years ago AMR tried to bill me over what Medicare/Aetna allows. I turned it over to Aetna and they told AMR that was not permitted and they shouldn’t have charged me. I hope these changes don’t include changing the allowable Medicare charges. If they do, I’ll just have someone drive me to the nearest Trumbull Immediate Care facility. Trumbull has free emergency ambulance service to anyone needing assistance if the emergency occurs within Trumbull town limits.

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