For the first time in a long time, the Cedar County Ambulance Board is at full strength with the appointment Monday evening of Rusty Norval to the vacant seat in District 2 and installation by the Ambulance Board Clerk Tami Ringler.

Board members present were Kenny Turner, vice chairman; Keith Kosco, secretary/treasurer; Nadine Sinclair, Evelyn Boyle, Rusty Norval and John Wilson – presiding. The meeting room was full to capacity mostly with employees of Cedar County Memorial Hospital, CCMH board members and the CCMH CEO.

Wilson credited the Cedar County Commission with directing the board to Evelyn Boyle and Rusty Norval to fill the two vacancies.

Jason Moses, representative accountant for KPM, presented the 2016 audit with no issues or suggestions. On a motion by Turner, second by Kasco, the board approved the audit.

In the public forum, Harry Rowe, who retired as an architect 20 years ago with 50 years of experience, told the board when he saw in the newspaper what they were doing, “I disagree.” He said he doesn’t understand how the board can let a contractor submit plans for the new Stockton ambulance barn the board plans to build. He said he took the plans and drew them to scale to show how much space is wasted in the new building. He said he could remove about 1,000 sq. ft. which at $100 per sq. ft. would lower the cost by about $100,000. He said he thinks the only way to get a better building is to hire an architect.

He said, “I filed a complaint with the Registration Board against Mr. Mata (the Morton Building representative).”

Ken Mata said it was just a preliminary drawing.

Rowe read from RSMO Chapter 327 which says building plans must be from a professional architect.

He said, “My concern is who is protecting my interest?”

John Wilson said, “You have voiced a lot of concerns and we have taken them under advisement. You visited with several of us individually. We all, even the new board members, have looked at your plans.”

Wilson said that Rowe’s plans eliminated some hallways and reduced the size of bathrooms. Wilson said that Rowe is not familiar with the size of bathrooms required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rowe told Kimball Long he does not understand why the bathrooms must be designed for handicapped accessible bathrooms in the crews’ quarters.

Wilson handed Mr. Rowe a letter from the board’s attorney, Frank Foster. Wilson stopped the conversation “right there.” He told Mr. Rowe, “You have gone so far as interrupt our EMS crews while they were working. They have expressed their concerns to us. At that  point  in time, we contacted our attorney. This is his letter to you.” Wilson said he was not comfortable releasing that letter to the media.

CPA Kalena Kenny Bruce presented the district’s financial report. She said cash on hand as of June 30 was $629,423.54, down about $22,000 from a year earlier. She said overall total assets are up $156, 393.67.

Unfinished business – The board voted to extend the service agreement with Citizens Memorial Hospital for ambulance service to Dec. 31, 2018. Wilson told the Sun the board did that to be certain Cedar County will have uninterrupted ambulance service. The contract was set to expire in July 2018.

Rusty Norval commented that the board still has the option of giving CMH 180-day notice of its intent to take bids on ambulance service and CMH has the same option to terminate the contract.

Jana Witt, administrator of Cedar County Memorial Hospital addressed the board to discuss the proposed contract she and the CCMH Board presented at the June CCAD meeting. CCAD board members asked some questions.

John Wilson pointed out that the CCMH proposal was not signed by anyone. He told the Sun later it did not carry a letterhead and was printed on both sides of the paper making it look unprofessional. He said if he had been asked for a copy of the proposal, he could not prove it was officially from CCMH.

During the discussion of the old ambulance that the board then declared as surplus, the CCAD board suggested that CCMH could buy the ambulance for almost nothing and use it for transfers it needs to badly. The CCMH board gave reasons why it could not do that. Wilson told the Sun Tuesday morning, that it would show that CCMH was serious about providing ambulance service if they would take that ambulance and use it for transfers. He said that if CCMH can’t handle one ambulance, how can it handle all the ambulances?

Ms. Witt said that since CMH took over the ambulance service, the number of patient brought to CCMH has declined. She said there have been reports of patients being told by the CMH ambulance crew, “You don’t want to go there” when the patient has requested CCMH. John Wilson said he wants to be notified if that happens. His email address is Rusty Norval said he is listed in the phone book.

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