County Board Steps Up to Help Ambualance Service
There is good news for the White County Ambulance Service, but the service is not out of the woods, yet.
The White County Board agreed to borrow $150,000 as a short term loan to shore up the Ambulance service. during its mandated day meeting held Tuesday morning.
It was explained the money will help the ambulance service hire additional paramedics and will also help the service return to Advanced Life Support status. The borrowed money will allow the ambulance service to pay more than the $3 an hour, on stand-by, raising the hourly rate up to $7 an hour. The ambulance staff is also paid extra for ambulance runs. That extra pay depends upon the length of the run to area hospitals.
Future plans are to convert the ambulance service volunteers to county employees.
Once that is done, the ambulance employees will receive the same benefits other county employees now receive.
It was pointed out that is why approval of the Safety Tax proposal on the November ballot is “badly needed.”
In other action, concerning the ambulance service, the board approved a resolution basically stating the safety tax, if approved, can not be spent on anything but the ambulance service. It was explained that has been a frequent question and worry of many county residents. The resolution should help calm the concerns.
Board members approved spending about $25,000 to repave the parking area between the jail and the annex. O’Daniel Trucking of Carmi will do the work which consist of replacing the pipe parking rails and laying down three inches of asphalt. The cost also includes tearing out the old asphalt, leveling and laying down a gravel base prior to the blacktop.
Insurance also was discussed. Mark Kelly, a representative of Guardian Insurance presented renewal figures to the board which were identical to the last renewal. He also briefly discussed a new product, but will meet with the Insurance Committee prior to a formal presentation on the new product.
The board decided to table a 2019 proposal about the Hope Trust insurance premiums, that covers hospitalization. That also will be discussed with the Insurance Committee.
Paula Dozier, White County Clerk presented the board with preliminary budget numbers that at this time are $226,000 in the red. The board asked all county officers to look over their budgets and trim everywhere possible. The fiinal draft of the budget will be presented at the November 13 meeting.
In other matters the board approved a surrender fee for dogs that are detained. That basically means, if you accept a dog as a gift from someone and then decide you don’t wang the dog and decide to take it to the pound it will cost you $50.
Consideration of air conditioning at the dog pound was tabled as the board would like additional information on that proposal.
The board approved the annual contribution of $2500 to the White County Soil and Water Conservation District as a matter of routine.
In officer reports; County treasurer Pam Armstrong said her office continues to collect property taxes and a disbursement was recently made.
Oil and chipping will be getting underway and the county highway department is also working on installing new rural road signs. That project got started in Carmi Township and the department employees will be heading west with the work.
Tuesday’s meeting was recessed until November at which time, the budget will be addressed.
There will be a meeting in October, set for Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. The meetings are held in the big courtroom at the White County Courthouse and are open got the public.