Q Our county is considering an out-of-county ambulance service that can provide our current level of service at a lower price. Does Section 41-55-7 permit a county to pay a subsidy to a provider that is not currently providing ambulance services in the county? If so, would the allocation of space in a county owned building be allowable as a form of subsidy, in addition to any funds paid directly to the provider?

A A county may contract with a privately run out of county ambulance service if the board of supervisors finds, consistent with the facts, that such ambulance service is adequate, and the subsidy is necessary to keep such services in operation. How much and in what form to subsidize a provider is a matter solely within in the discretionary authority of the governing authorities. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Sutton, November 16, 2018)