Commissioners buy first county ambulance

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The Switzerland County Commissioners met on Tuesday, February 16th, for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting was held on Tuesday due to Monday being a holiday.

In the continued effort to organize and start a county-owned Emergency Medical Service, the commissioners heard a proposal on buying the county’s first ambulance.

New County EMS Director Nadine Swift gave literature to the commissioners for the purchase of a “county owned” ambulance. She presented three options, in which the commissioners approved the new one. The option approved is a 2015 Ford, Type 3, which will cost the county $129,269.00. There will also be extra expenses to equip the ambulance with supplies.

The Commissioners also discussed the issue of purchasing ambulances from the local fire departments. Billy Leap spoke for the Jeff-Craig Fire Department and said the fire department was not sure if they were going to sell their ambulance. They were scheduled to have a meeting and discuss the matter and get back with the commissioners.

There were some questions from the public asking about the new county owned EMS. The commissioners explained that the new venture is just getting started with the help of the Advisory Board and Director Nadine Swift. They expect a total of 21 county employees to be hired in the near future which will include full and part time employees. The commissioners also stated that no one from the Advisory Board will be compensated for their time.

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In other matters discussed by the commissioners:

-Katie Collier gave a yearly review for the Indian Creek Watershed Project. She also explained that they were awarded a $75,000 grant to help farmers with cover crops. The deadline for farmers to apply for this help is March 31st.

– Peg Ehlers requested the use of the TEC Building in case of a weather emergency during the 4-H Fair, which will be held July 9th-16th. The request was approved.

– Switzerland County Highway Superintendent Darrell Keith had some questions regarding holiday pay. The Commissioners will review the employee handbook.

– The Commissioners approved the dates scheduled for the “county wide” clean-up, which will be held April 22nd-24th.

– County attorney Wil Goering informed the commissioners that the dog ordinance that is in place to quarantine a dog, should be sufficient. The issue was brought up at the last meeting from a concerned citizen after her dog was mauled and killed by two dogs. The ordinance states that the dog owner shall keep the dog tied up for 10 days and that Animal Control will check on the dog and verify if the dog has had shots.

– The landscaping and mowing jobs for the county properties for 2016 will be advertised for bids.