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Commissioners Approve Ambulance Purchase

Colorado County commissioners, meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, authorized the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) department to purchase a slightly smaller transit ambulance to use on transfers of patients between medical facilities.

EMS Director Michael Furrh said he felt the smaller ambulance would save money on lower fuel costs.

He said it would also provide a smoother ride than the larger units. Furrh said that the smaller unit could also be used for emergency medical service calls.

He said the smaller ambulance unit will cost about $75,000 to $85,000, and that compares favorably to $150,000 for the larger ambulances.

Furrh said one-third of the EMS call volume is for transfers between medical facilities.

He said that the purchase of a transfer ambulance would come from his budget.

Commissioners also authorized selling a 1997 ambulance. Furrh said it is difficult to get replacement parts for the 20-year-old vehicle.

In a related matter, commissioners authorized Furrh to obtain proposals on construction of a helipad behind the EMS building at 305 Radio Lane.

He estimated the cost of construction would be in the range of $15,000 to $20,000.

Furrh said that the helipad at Columbus Community Hospital will still be available.

He said there have been occasions in the past when it was in use by another helicopter when an emergency arose.

When that happens currently, he said, the fire department has to set up a landing perimeter. He said use of the helipad would eliminate the need for the fire department to be called for that purpose.

In other action,


--Approved requests from the sheriff’s office and county clerk’s office to allow employees to donate sick leave to two employees who are planning to take maternity leave.

The measures passed on 4-1 votes, with Commissioner Darrell Kubesch opposed.

He said he felt that commissioners should adopt an overall policy regarding the donation of sick leave instead of current method of handling it on a case-by-case basis.

--Authorized a reserve deputy constable position for Precinct 2 to assist in courthouse security.

County Judge Ty Prause said that district judges were requesting two bailiffs now be assigned to district court sessions at the courthouse to upgrade security.

He said he had discussed the situation with Precinct 2 Constable Lonnie Hinze, who heads up courthouse security scheduling.

Prause and Hinze proposed that Paul Hilley, who is retiring from the Weimar Police Department, be hired to help with courthouse security matters and would be a reserve constable, allowing him to carry a gun in the courthouse.

Prause said the part-time bailiff salary would come from funds already allocated to pay for courthouse security and that an additional $1,000 could cover costs of equipment and uniforms.

--Approved a resolution in support of a grant for equipment and vehicles for the sheriff’s department. No amount was mentioned.

--Approved a resolution supporting a renewal grant application for the Boys and Girls Club for delinquency prevention. The current grant is approximately $42,000.

--Approved a resolution for a $40,000 grant for emergency radio communications equipment.

--Approved an agreement for collection of household hazardous waste at a one-day collection event at the Colorado County Fairgrounds on June 3. Most of the cost is paid by a $30,000 grant.

--Approved a request to use the circle drive of the courthouse square for a “National Day of Prayer” event at noon on May 4.

--Heard in the public comment section from Debbie Damon, who owns a business in Columbus, who said she was attempting to get help at the state level regarding high utility bills.

--Approved a resolution of respect for Edward Hanzelka Jr., former peace justice in Precinct No. 2, who died on Jan. 20.

See photo on page 5.  [-end of story-]


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