In Sept. 30 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
A plan approved by the Russell County Fiscal Court Monday in special session outlines a complete overhaul of the Ambulance Board returning it to a structure used in the previous interlocal agreement.
After dissolution of the current board, a new board comprised of eight members will be appointed with Russell County Judge having two appointments, one appointment each by the mayors of Jamestown and Russell Springs, and including Russell County Hospital's Chief Operating Officer as the fifth voting member.
Nonvoting members of the board will be the Russell County Judge and mayors of both cities.
Along with board reorganization, the plan also establishes a 911/LINK National Crime Information Center Committee and outlines operating procedures including "very serious consideration" to make the ambulance board a taxing authority.
In the proposed agreement, the cities of Jamestown and Russell Springs along with Russell County Ambulance Service will each contribute $2,000 per month with the fiscal court contributing the balance needed after all other monies are received.
At special called meetings this week both Jamestown City Council and Russell Springs City Council voted to approve contributing financial assistance to the county's 911 Dispatch.
Jamestown City Council voted unanimously to approve the proposed agreement.
"This will be contingent on the ambulance board accepting (the proposal)," said Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates.
He added the agreement is tentatively accepted and that changes are likely.
In Russell Springs City Council's special session, Mayor Hollis DeHart also discussed the unstable status of the agreement.
"This is strictly on a temporary basis because over this next year this whole thing is going to have to be revisited again and again," said Mayor DeHart. "There'll have to be a new interlocal agreement written and agreed to by all entities."
Concerns regarding EMS's current financial status were voiced by Russell Springs City Council members who voted 4 - 2 to approve the agreement.
"I have a problem with their audit not being complete," Russell Springs Councilman Ray Barrett said.
Fellow councilman Timmy Hudson agreed and both voted no to the payment plan.
In special session last week, the Ambulance Board agreed to contribute $2,000 monthly to 911 Dispatch service for the county but no vote was taken.
"There will be a meeting Friday between the various entities," said Ambulance Board Chairman James Gray. "After Friday, maybe we'll have a better understanding of each other's expectations and start putting something on paper."
No time is scheduled for the ambulance board to meet; however, the next joint meeting of county, city and ambulance board officials is set for Friday, October 1st at 2 p.m.
No quorum from any entity will be present.
If implemented, an interlocal agreement would keep 911 Dispatch in Russell County at the EMS base of operations in Jamestown one year until permanent funding sources are allocated.