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Ambulance bids top county agenda





The Ellis County Commission approved a motion to authorize bidding for two new ambulances at Monday's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

Commissioners did make a change in the bid package. Ellis County EMS Director Kerry McCue told commissioners among changes he recommended would be for a second air conditioner, plugged into the inverter, to be used to cool medications inside the trucks while they were not running, and sitting inside the station.

After being questioned by the commissioners about the cost and need, McCue said he was willing to make that an option in the bid process.

"Just so you're more comfortable, I will pull that out and put it as an option," McCue said.

Commissioner Dean Haselhorst and Chairwoman Barbara Wasinger said that was their preference.

"The reason being, I don't want to cause you or your staff any extra work. But it's something you get used to doing, making sure that someone, one person is in charge of grabbing these medications" before going out on a call, Wasinger said. "We're talking about thousands of dollars to put in and keep it running."

McCue said that option was a consideration.

"We've tried that," he said. "It's just not operationally functional."

Commissioners asked what the cost would be, and McCue did not have the cost available at the meeting.

"I'd like to know what the difference in price would be," Wasinger said.

McCue said one ambulance, which was due to be replaced in 2011, now has approximately 160,000 miles on it. Another ambulance, scheduled to be replaced in 2012, has approximately 190,000 miles on it and needs a new transmission. The cost to fix it is more than the ambulance is worth, McCue said.

In other business:

* Commissioners received a report on a scheduled road construction project on Old U.S. Highway 40 in the eastern part of the county.

* Commissioners were informed of a railroad crossing agreement for a crossing west of Yocemento. The crossing will be upgraded to having lights and gates.

* Commissioners were given an EMS operations update.

* Commissioners received the monthly health report, quarterly statement from the county treasurer and monthly financial report.

* Commissioners went into executive session for 10 minutes with county administrator Greg Sund and county counselor Bill Jeter to discuss union negotiations. No action was taken.