City creates resolution to provide $3M in funding assistance to TRAA

The plan will be presented to City Council at its next meeting
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 11:58 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Mayor Tom Henry says he is working to present a plan to City Council to provide funding assistance to Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA) amid budget concerns.

In February, Henry said his office was preparing for a funding request from TRAA leaders, who say they project a $3.5 million shortfall. As 21Alive has extensively reported, TRAA response times were a source of concern for well over two years. Last year, the TRAA Board of Directors found their contractor in “major default” following numerous months of delayed response times.

Now, Henry says a resolution approving a funding agreement between the City and TRAA will be presented to City Council for possible introduction at its meeting on Tuesday, March 14. He says the agreement would provide $3 million in funding to TRAA.

Per the agreement, the organization would provide monthly cash flow statements so the City can monitor any need for additional funding. They say TRAA would also reimburse the City for the funds “as it is reasonably able to do so”.

“In order to attract and retain staff sufficient to sustain and improve ambulance services, TRAA committed funds outside the scope of its originally-approved budget to pay appropriate wages and cover costs associated with the improvements to the provision of ambulance services, which in turn required TRAA to draw on cash reserves, a course of action which was disclosed in advance to the City and Allen County,” Henry’s administration says in a news release.

They say the funds are required to sustain operations, even as it is working on improving its performance and response times. They say approving the funds to support TRAA in maintaining reliable ambulance services is “in the best interests of the City and County”.

The City says leaders are also awaiting a response from the Allen County Board of Commissioners on whether financial help will come from the County as well.