With an 11:59 p.m. Friday deadline looming, town and village officials will meet in separate sessions on Thursday morning to finish the approval process for the transfer of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town to the village. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — With an 11:59 p.m. Friday deadline looming, town and village officials will meet in separate sessions on Thursday morning to finish the approval process for the transfer of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town to the village.

Both boards met last week, but could not finalize the transfer until an agreement with the Massena Rescue Squad is approved.

During the village board meeting, trustees approved resolutions authorizing an agreement of municipal cooperation for the operation and maintenance of an inter-municipal rescue squad, and authorizing an EMS/rescue squad asset transfer agreement.

Trustee Francis J. Carvel voted against both resolutions. During an October meeting, he told trustees that he had heard concerns about potential costs the village may have to absorb with the transfer before receiving any revenue.

Trustees tabled resolutions authorizing an agreement with Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit Inc., authorizing an agreement with E5 Support Services for purposes related to emergency medical services, and authorizing an agreement with the town of Louisville to provide general ambulance services.

E5 Support Services, a professional staffing, training, consulting and billing agency for emergency medical service agencies, staffs the Massena Rescue Squad from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., while volunteers staff it from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

One resolution approves an agreement between the village, Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit and the town of Louisville to provide general ambulance services to transport sick or injured people within the town of Louisville boundaries to hospitals or other places of treatment, effective Jan. 1. The cost to the town of Louisville would be $7,000.

A second resolution approves and authorizes a professional services agreement between the village, Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit and E5 Support Services, effective Jan. 1. The agreement is for one year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, at a rate of $244,314.97.

Mayor Gregory M. Paquin told trustees that the agreements with E5 Support Services and the town of Louisville were ready to go, but the agreement with the Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit was not.

“Until we get the MVEU contract in place, it just does not make sense to pass at this point,” Mr. Paquin said.

The Massena Town Council met the following day, but like the village board, could not finalize the transfer.

“The main part of the agenda was supposed to be talking about the transfer of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town to the village. However, there’s been a little bit of a snafu with the village and the MVEU, Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit in their negotiations for a contract,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said. “So, we are not able to proceed forward until they have been resolved. So, we won’t be talking about that today.”

Former Mayor Timothy J. Ahlfeld and Mr. O’Shaughnessy had announced in September that the village would assume management of the rescue squad from the town at the end of the year.

They said discussions had been ongoing between the town and village for several months regarding the potential transfer of the rescue squad and its assets to the village, and that a “tremendous amount of work” had already been done by both parties behind the scenes.

The Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit currently contracts with the town to provide rescue squad services, and that contract will transfer to the village at the start of 2022. The town will pay bills that are generated up to Dec. 31, and the village will take over payment in January. The town will keep any resource recovery money generated by the rescue squad until the end of the year.

The transfer will place the village in management of three safety components — Massena Rescue Squad, Massena Volunteer Fire Department and Massena Police Department.

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