County commission approves new masks
By RANDY GONZALES
The Ellis County Commission approved the purchase of 38 new air packs for the Ellis County Rural Fire Department at Monday's meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.
Commissioners chose the middle of three bids, from Hays Fire and Rescue Sales & Service LLC in the amount of $188,000 for self-contained breathing apparatus. County firefighters preferred the air packs over those from Conrad Fire Equipment Inc., Olathe, the low bidder at $165,000.
The new packs are needed in part because 23 of the 38 air packs in use failed recent tests.
"That's something you need to look at, because I don't think the chiefs or myself want to be liable with guys working equipment like this," Ellis County Rural Fire Director Dick Klaus said.
Klaus told commissioners the air packs from Hays Fire and Rescue were new ones, while packs from the other two bidders were retrofitted older packs. In addition, the communication system was better, and the mask had a better field of vision. The AVON units also carried a better warranty, Klaus said.
Commissioners voted 2-0 to award the bid to Hays Fire and Rescue.
Commissioner Swede Holmgren was absent at Monday's meeting.
In other business:
* Commissioners approved the miles/mileage reimbursement policy and the business meals and refreshments policy.
* Commissioners approved a resolution that endorses the Northwest Kansas Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy prepared and updated under the direction of the Northwest Kansas Planning and Development Commission.
* Commissioners approved the list of appointees to the Ellis County Council on Aging. Appointees are Karen Ashbaugh, Ellis; Dr. Arris Johnson, Hays; Alberta Klaus, Hays; Llona Patterson, Victoria; Milton Leiker, Hays; and William Moriarity, Hays.
* Commissioners received the monthly public health report.
* Commissioners discussed purchasing policy and procedures.
* Commissioners discussed budget policy.
* Commissioners discussed replacing county dispatch consoles in fiscal year 2015.