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Members of the Baltimore County Council on Monday voted unanimously to begin charging county residents for ambulance rides, a decision officials said is expected to add about $26 million annually to county coffers.

The fees, $700 or $750, depending on the type of care provided, plus $10 per mile, will be charged to a patient's health insurance company, Medicaid or Medicare. Bills will be sent to insurance companies, and officials have said residents who don't have insurance, or whose insurance companies refuse to pay, will not be charged.

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Officials said the county was one of only two jurisdictions in Maryland that had not charged a fee for transport via ambulance — the other is Calvert County. Baltimore County career and volunteer emergency responders answer about 85,000 calls requiring ambulance service each year. The new fees are scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1.

Also at Monday's meeting, the council approved a measure that aids the proposal for a new outlet mall in White Marsh. Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins, a Democrat who represents the area, and Councilman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, co-sponsored a measure allowing a "regional outlet shopping center" as a permitted use for property of a certain size adjacent to Interstate 95 with a specific type of industrial zoning.

The bill's requirements line up with a 100-store outlet mall being proposed by Baltimore-based developer, Paragon Outlet Partners. Some residents — and the owners of the nearby White Marsh Mall — have fought the mall proposal, but Bevins said Monday the project is a job creator and will be a good fit for White Marsh.

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