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Helipad, Parking around School, Unkempt Properties all Tackled at Carmi Council Meeting Tuesday

Mayor Jeff Pollard appears ready to play hardball with the Carmi hospital owners who have closed off and locked medical personnel out of the helipad.  At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the mayor says he received a call from White County Ambulance Director Adam Allen who informed him the hospital property owner was no longer allowing them to use the helipad free of charge and instead wanted to charge the ambulance service $1,000 per month.  The mayor also provided some background on the helipad.

“The helipad of course was constructed over 8 years ago with all of the funding provided by Elastec and the property provided by The Phoenix Foundation.  When Phoenix finally folded, the city took over providing electric and maintaining of the helipad only.  Our hope was to eventually end up with the property, clean it up and keep the helipad for the convenience of our residents.  However, when the county put the property up for tax auction, the city not only didn’t win the bid for the property, they also lost all other monies owed to the city.  Now, moving forward it will be the responsibility of the city to provide a new location for the helipad while continuing to fine the property owners until they get the property totally cleaned up and a safe environment.”

TSA Holdings Group spokesperson Tariq Ayyad says he closed off the helipad for insurance concerns stating their insurance wouldn’t cover an accident should one occur and they would subsequently be held liable.  Other locations for air medical transport to land include Melrose Cemetery near Bradshaw Park and Mayor Pollard says the ambulance service is more than welcome to use property the city owns directly across from Carmi Manor, often referred to as the soccer fields.

The City Council also heard an update on the parking situation on College Boulevard in front of the school and around the football field/track, specifically along Crebs Avenue.  The mayor says as soon as school is out, the school and the city will embark on a join project to address the issue and both parties will share some of the investment.

“We’re gonna take the trees out of the islands in the middle of the road and make that area angled parking with an eight foot sidewalk, hand-railing, and lighting all similar to Seventh Street at the new police department.  That infrastructure can be paid through TIF with our guys doing most of the work.  We’ll also be redoing Crebs Avenue behind the football field.  That area will be widened with angled parking all behind the bleachers.”

Finally from the mayor, Pollard says the city has started the spring off with twice the number of calls about slovenly properties as compared with last year.  He reminds residents the city is actively ticketing and therefore…

“If you don’t want to have to pay a fine, then I would suggest you pick your mess up.”

Among other action items at Tuesday’s meeting, the city renewed the School Resource Officer agreement for the next school year and agreed in principal to pursue a potential agreement for a second SRO.  Council adjourned into closed session at 5:52pm.


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