October 22, 2014

All Access Press Club (Subscribers)

Online all-access is free to print subscribers. Username is your account number, 7-digit number before the expiration date on your mailing label. Password is your zip code.

County holds squad cash pending study PDF Print E-mail
Written by Denise Freitag Burdette   
Monday, January 07, 2013 10:46 PM

Kevin Lynch and Art Little participated in their first meeting as Dearborn County commissioners Thursday, Jan. 3, alongside commissioner Shane McHenry who was voted the new board president.

Most of the night was spent assigning people to various boards and committees, but there were a few other decisions to be made.

Auditor Gayle Pennington told commissioners the first request of the year for money the county distributes to the county life squads had been made by Bright Fire and EMS.

With two ambulances, the total request was for $40,000, or $20,000 each.

Although money has been budgeted to continue the program this year, county administrator Terri Randall said the commissioners might want to place the decision on hold as a study continues on county fire and EMS services.

The prior group of commissioners discussed looking at how the money is distributed, said Randall, who asked the new board of commissioners what they wanted to do.

Generally, $20,000 has been given per life squad, said McHenry.

The money is distributed from riverboat gambling funds received by the county.

In May, about 60 firefighters, emergency medical service providers and county officials gathered in county emergency management building in Lawrenceburg to hear about a Dearborn County Fire/EMS Study being conducted by Duncan Associates, Muncie, in an effort to aid financially-struggling fire and EMS departments.

Not all of the fire and EMS units cooperated by providing statistics, said Randall.

The county has discussed having the departments submit more than fianncial information to receive the money. Perhaps the county needs to take a more comprehensive view, she said.

“I agree with that,” said Lynch, adding he has met with some fire and EMS department representatives.

But he does not want to hamstring Bright or cause financial hardship while the county looks at the issue, said Lynch.

Something needs to be set up in the next couple of weeks, he said.

Commissioners voted to table the request from Bright.

Later, Randall said “work continues in earnest toward solutions to this challenging issue. This Board of

Commissioners has made this a high priority and is very engaged and involved in the process.”

The issue will be on the commissioner agenda for the 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, meeting, she said.

After the Jan. 3 commissioners meeting, Randall said she emailed the following letter to all the squads:

To All Dearborn County Fire & EMS Providers:
On the behalf of the Board of Commissioners, I am writing to start the New Year with an update on the Fire & EMS project.
At the end of 2012, the previous Board of Commissioners decided to form a Committee that would work on the issues and report to the Commissioners. That committee would be selected by the Board and include key stakeholders from each area. Because we were in an election year, we postponed forming the committee to be sure the newly elected Board of Commissioners for 2013 were in agreement with this approach.
As a result of the election, we have two (2) new Commissioners on the Board. The first meeting of 2013 was held tonight. I am happy to report that this group of Commissioners continues to place a high priority on pushing toward solutions to this pressing community issue early in 2013. With that said, the Commissioners will have more detailed, official next steps out to you very soon.
It is likely that you will see myself and one or more of the Commissioners reaching out to talk with your department in the very near future to get your input. We may be scheduling some smaller meetings in the various regions as well. You can expect to receive another email with more details in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, please contact me (or your district Commissioner) directly if you feel you have an immediate need to schedule a time for me and a Commissioner to visit with you at your location to address any immediate concerns. We will be back in touch very soon.

Meanwhile, commissioners also awarded a bid to and signed a contract with AFM Demolition to demolish the Shumway and Votaw buildings on High Street in Lawrenceburg, across from the county courthouse. After the demolition, the county will move forward with paving, landscaping and other work need to convert the areas into needed parking spaces, said Randall.