The Monday, Aug. 19, meeting of the Cedar County Ambulance District (CCAD) Board in Stockton was fairly uneventful except for Board Member Robert Matney going ballistic at Citizens Memorial Hospital Ambulance Director Neal Taylor when Matney was discussing his motion to take bids immediately for ambulance service. Matney got no support from the other members of the board and his motion died for lack of a second.
Taylor never changed his facial expression or answered anything Matney said. He did tell CCAD Chairman Dennis Winston later in the discussion that he would be willing to sit down with the ambulance board and discuss their list of concerns.
Winston told Matney the district has a five-year contract with CMH which will enter its third year on Jan. 1, 2014. He said, “If we bid it out every two years, no one will want to bid.”
Board Member John Wilson agreed with Winston. He said, “I’m afraid the long term consequences would be worse than the short term.”
Matney’s wife, one of only about six persons in the audience, all of them vocal St. John’s supporters in the past, spoke up without being recognized by the chair, and said that the public was really dissatisfied with the ambulance service provided by CMH.
Board Member Don Fugate, who represents District 2 which encompasses the east half of El Dorado Springs, said that service in his end of the county is the best it has ever been and he has heard no complaints.
Matney complained about the logos that CMH has on the ambulances. He claimed that frequently the county is left without an ambulance because the two ambulances are gone on transfers.
Winston asked Taylor, “Are you having trouble with multiple transfers?” Taylor said they were, but it is not unique to Cedar County.
Winston said that was a problem when he was the district manger for St. John’s. He said the ambulance crew, for liability reasons, is forced to take the transfer immediately if the doctor designates it as an emergency.
Taylor said that is still a problem. He said the crew will sometimes call the hospital to see if the transfer can be delayed until the other ambulance gets back in the county.
Winston said, “It’s not a new problem. Some doctors cooperate. Some don’t.”
In other business, the board took up Board Member Sue Rice’s proposal to add a 7th county-wide member to the board. She said it would have to be put on the November ballot by Aug. 27 and if the public approved the measure, the 7th member would be elected in April 2014.
Robert Matney immediately made a motion to “forget the 7th member.” Wilson seconded it. The vote was five yes with Rice voting no.
All board members were present: Fugate, Matney, Winston – presiding, Wilson, Rice and Wes Spinks.
The board took up another item Rice put on the agenda – a reduction in the annual sales tax rate. She presented a state statute which she said permits the board to adjust the sales tax rate downward from the half cent authorized by voters and then to adjust it a year later down or up to the maximum approved by voters.
Winston said, quickly reading over the statute, said he doesn’t think it applies to sales tax, only property tax, “I’m totally 100% against it. I’m 99% sure it doesn’t apply to sales tax.”
Matney made a motion, seconded by Wilson, “to leave it like it is.” The motion passed unanimously.
Rice said that the bookkeeper contract with Kalena Kenney Bruce would end Sept. 30.
Winston immediately made a motion, seconded by Wilson, to renew the contract with Kalena Kenney Bruce. The motion passed with five yes votes and Rice abstaining. Winston said Ms. Bruce is paid $400 a month plus $50 for mileage for a total of $450 per month.
Rice reported on an attendance ordinance mentioned at the last meeting. She said that at the ambulance board training she and Spink attended recently, Attorney Frank Foster said the district can prepare an ordinance making repeated absences from meetings implied resignation by a board member. She said that enforcement must go through the prosecuting attorney.
No action as taken after board members said that chronic absences from meetings are not a problem right now.
The manager’s report presented by Neal Taylor, reported that during the month ambulance crews responded to 84 calls in El Dorado Springs and 77 in Stockton.
Taylor said the new ambulance arrived in June and was put in service in Stockton during the week of the El Dorado Springs Picnic.
In the financial report delivered by her twin sister, Chelsea Kenney Abercrombie, Ms. Bruce said the district, as of Aug. 10, had $546,644 cash. Receipts in 2013 have been $256,657 which is $7,158 less than budgeted. Expenditures have been $211,453 which is $34,109 less than budgeted. The district bank balance has increased about $45,000 so far this year.
Rice presented the Sunshine Law policy and amendment proposed changes. The board tabled consideration until the next meeting.
Spinks reported on the proposed remodel of the El Dorado Springs barn downstairs. He said that on the floor they had talked about epoxy but a cheaper way is to sand the concrete and give it a clear coat.
On the walls, he proposed removing any that are not load bearing and painting the walls.
He will contact City Building Inspector Aaron Smith for an inspection.
On the concrete pad south of the actual ambulance entrances, he said it will take concrete six inches thick and reinforced with half inch rebar. He said it will take at least two pours with the concrete sculpted to carry the water south to the drainage ditch.
Fugate pointed out that neither of the projects has been approved by the board.
Rice made a motion, seconded by Matney, to give Wilson authority to get information on the proposed remodel and for Spinks to get specs on the proposed concrete pad. Vote was unanimous.
The board took up consideration of the 2014 budget. Spinks, the treasurer, said, “We probably need to have some sort of meeting. We probably need to look at medical equipment.”
The board approved renewal of the districts insurance policies for $3,683.
Taylor said he will have the cost of proposed medical equipment broken down and itemized for the next meeting.