Upper Valley Ambulance seeks 6.5% rate increase for 2022 appropriation

Upper Valley Ambulance seeks 6.5% rate increase for 2022 appropriation

Upper Valley Ambulance (UVA) provides emergency ambulance services to the Vermont towns of Bradford, Corinth, Fairlee, Strafford, Thetford, Vershire, and West Fairlee, and to the New Hampshire towns of Orford and Piermont. It began operation in 1990 when the Town of Hanover informed area towns that it would no longer be providing them with ambulance services. The communiities came together to find a solution.

Today, UVA operates as a nonprofit. It bills its member towns on a per capita (population) basis. In 2021, that amount was $46 per person, which in Thetford came out to $119,048. UVA is asking for a $3 increase to this rate in 2022, or $49 per capita (a 6.5% increase).

According to the appropriations request letter sent to Town officials, UVA's 2022 budget "only allows for a 0.49% profit margin."

This is an extremely small margin to work with, but we feel with extreme diligence, we can continue to provide quality care and transporation with this budget.

The budget supports a capital fund that "ensures that we have the most up-to-date and reliable sources of transportation for the sick and injured that reside [in] and travel through your communities." The increase also supports "competitive wages to recruit new folks and hold onto the valuable ones that we have." Lastly, UVA cites "substantial raises in insurance rates" as another driver for its rate increase.

The 6.5% budget increase hits Thetford even harder due to the latest census results. According to census data, Thetford's population has increased 7.2% since 2010, up 187 from 2,588 to 2,775. The increased population, coupled with an increased rate, brings UVA's 2022 appropriation request to $135,975 (a 14.2% increase). All else the same, this represents a 0.6% increase over the 2021 municipal tax rate.

Combined with the projected 4.9% increase for the Route 132 bond payment, Thetford's 2022 budget can be projected to see a 5.5% increase from these two line items alone.