ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro City Council gave the Marion County Emergency Medical Service a boost at its April 3 meeting by authorizing $2,500 toward the purchase of a new patient transport cot for the local ambulance crew.
JoAnn Knak, EMS director, told the council that the Stryker cot recommended by the Hillsboro crew would have many advantages over the existing cot. Among them, it would be easier for crew members to load patients into an ambulance and would gave the patient a more comfortable ride.
The cost of the cot will be $3,780, Knak reported. She said she will approach civic groups and use other public avenues to raise the remaining funds.
Councilor Wendell Dirks asked why city money should go toward a county-funded organization.
Knak said she under-budgeted this past year, and pointed that having “24-hour ambulance service” is a recruiting tool cities regularly use to their advantage.
“I have no problem asking the cities for funds,” Knak said.
Dirks affirmed the quality of the ambulance service and made the recommendation to appropriate the $2,500 from the city’s discretionary funds designated for EMS-related needs.
“This is your request for the year, then,” Mayor Delores Dalke noted.
City leaders in Marion and Peabody will be asked to support identical proposals for their respective ambulance crews, Knak said.
In other business, the council approved a minor amendment to Ordinance 1023 regarding tax abatement for Container Services and agreed to amend the $490,000 loan agreement made with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment for replacing the city’s sewer outfall line.
City Administrator Steve Garrett reported the city’s housing rehabilitation project is moving forward, that an agreement for emergency water back up is being negotiated with Rural Water District 4, and that plans to clean up city shops are proceeding.
He also reported that repairs are needed to the under-drain at the city’s water plant. One of the system’s three filters is down and will need to be replaced. The current system is 20 years old.
Garrett said he was checking into the cost of repairs.
Garrett also reported plans are moving forward to challenge the Census 2000 population count for Hillsboro. He said Hillsboro is one of several Kansas communities that will be challenging their population estimates.
Dalke said she has been told by census workers that the process for gathering data was confusing.
“It could be that entire (city) blocks were never counted,” she said.
Garrett also reported he has been negotiating with the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Association about the city’s role in providing funds for irrigation pumps.
Garrett was authorized to continue the negotiation process, with the possibility that the city might offer to split the cost of a new pump with the association.
Garrett was also authorized to talk to Gordon Mohn, USD 410 superintendent, about the district’s plans for using Memorial Field for baseball after this season. This is the third year of a three-year contract with the district.
The district has been paying the city $2,500 a year to play home baseball games on the field.