CCAD board nixes renting office space

Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

The Cedar County Ambulance District board of directors met Monday, June 17, in the Stockton ambulance barn with all board members present: Robert Matney, John Wilson, Don Fugate, Sue Rice, Wes Spinks and Dennis Winston- presiding.

In his district manager’s report, Chris Loderhose said there were 168 calls for an ambulance – 101 in El Dorado Springs and 67 in Stockton.

Loderhose reported that Century Link will not talk to him about internet service for the El Dorado Springs facility. He said that CMH is willing to pay for internet and phone service there as it is already paying for those services in Stockton and Bolivar.

He reported that a man had stopped by and wanted to finish changing out the fluorescent lights to more efficient ones. The board voted to ask Darin Broksieck to come back and finish changing the lights.

The board voted to allow CMH to take over paying for phone lines, DSL and internet service at the El Dorado Springs facility.

The board voted to approve adding air horns to the new ambulance for $981.60, which were left off the specs for the new ambulance, which has arrived.

In her financial report, District Bookkeeper Kalena Kenney Bruce reported that as of June 10, 2013, the district had total cash of $586,832, up over $60,000 from a year earlier ($526,544) and up $132,350 from June 10, 2011, when St. John’s was running the ambulances in Cedar County.

Net worth for the district, as of June 10, 2013, was $1,391,559.58, up over $124,000 from the same time last year and up just over $139,000 from June 10, 2011.

Ms. Bruce told the board she was going to have trouble getting the financial report to them before the next meeting on July 15, because the board instructed her to close the books on the 10th of each month and there would not be time to mail the reports to each member.

Wilson made a motion, seconded by Matney, “to take the recommendation and professional advice from the bookkeeper and end the financial report the last day of the month.”

Sue Rice said that the auditor told the board it was best to close the books on the 10th of the month to include as many recent transactions as possible in the monthly report. She did not have an audit report with her. The vote was a 3-3 deadlock: yes – Winston, Matney and Wilson; no – Rice, Fugate and Spinks. Spinks said later that he voted no on the book keeping date change because he had not seen the auditor’s report. He was not on the board at the time and wanted to know the reason the auditor recommended keeping the cut off at the 10th of the month.

The board had received a Sunshine Law request from Attorney Ann Mills for “any contract the county has for ambulance service with any hospital medical facility or E.M.S. service provider since May 1, 2008. The board approved a motion by Winston, second by Wilson to provide the documents and waive all fees except postage.

The board received no bids for the clerk position and will advertise again.

John Wilson had an item on the agenda to discuss the district office he wants to rent on the square in Stockton for $400 per month.

Matney asked if it would be furnished. When Wilson said it would not, Matney said, “That’s too much money. I can’t see spending money for nothing.”

Rice mentioned that renting an office would mean that all meetings would be held in Stockton. Winston said that the County Commission meets in Stockton. He said no other board meets in two places in the county, except maybe the Library Board, and dismissed that notion.

On a motion by Fugate, second by Matney, that “we forget it,” the vote was four yes with Winston and Wilson voting no.

The board voted to approve paying the fees and expenses for Rice and Spinks to attend board member training at the Lake of the Ozarks.

One of the last items on the agenda for the Monday, June 17, meeting of the Cedar County Ambulance District in Stockton was “ambulance crews not responding to calls while at lunch.”

Board Member Robert Matney said he had put it on the agenda, then immediately deferred to Walt Meeker, a perennial critic of CMH, who said that the CMH Stockton crew on duty recently did not respond when dispatched to a call. Meeker said that a Corps of Engineers employee who monitors the calls went by the Red Barn restaurant in Stockton and saw that the ambulance was parked there.

It wasn’t clear what other action Meeker said the Corps of Engineers employee took but it seemed to involve checking at the Stockton Ambulance Barn.

CMH District Manager Chris Loderhose said that ambulance attendants turn off their handheld devices while in the ambulance to prevent radio interference. In this one incident, they forgot to turn on their hand helds when they got out of the ambulance. He said he has emphasized to the crews to turn on their radios when out of the ambulance.

The Sun contacted a CMH official who confirmed the statement by Loderhose and said they were working to keep it from happening again. He raised a point which apparently no one at the meeting thought of: Why didn’t the Corps of Engineers employee just go into the restaurant and tell the crew they had a call? Wouldn’t it have been better for the patient?