Turner selectmen adopt rescue service subscriptions

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TURNER — Selectmen agreed Monday night to adopt a plan offering people and businesses subscriptions for rescue services not covered by insurance.

For fees, ranging from $25 for a senior citizen to $125 for a business, the Rescue Service will write off charges not covered by insurance.

The plan will be tried for one year.

Turner Rescue Chief Toby Martin proposed the plan. He said the service submits about $60,000 in unpaid charges per year to a collection agency. He estimated about $10,000 a year will be recovered through subscriptions.

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Martin said most towns with similar plans have 50 and 80 percent of residents participating.

Selectmen agreed to try the plan for one year.

Typical charges for taking residents to a hospital are $700 to $1000, depending on distance and what services are supplied. Patients are billed for any deductible or other portion of the bill that is not paid by insurance.

Fees will be: $25 senior citizen; $40 senior couple; $50 single resident; $75 family; and $125 business.

In other news, Martin said volunteers are organizing in Leeds to provide emergency medical services until the Turner crew can get there. He is volunteering his time to provide the necessary training. Twelve trainees, along with eight experienced medical responders who live in Leeds, will staff the operation.

In other business, Town Clerk Becky Allaire reported that 460 beach passes have been sold this year.

Town Manager Kirk Schaub said the beach attendant’s hours are adjusted so as not to exceed the budget.

The Department of Environmental Protection has approved plans for installing single-sort recycling equipment. Work will be done only on days that the Transfer Station is closed to the public. Workers will start moving equipment at the station next week.

Selectmen will inspect the garbage compactor Monday to determine how to prevent rain from entering it.

Selectmen will meet Monday, Aug. 24, to set the tax rate. Based on numbers presented by Schaub, it will be about $16.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. The rate is now $16.70.

Schaub pointed out that Turner assesses property at 85 percent of actual value. If the assessments were at full value, the tax rate would be about $14.

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