Hustonville revises fire, EMS project

Published 9:40 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

HUSTONVILLE – As the mother of a daughter with frequent emergency medical needs, Breah Sebastian attended the Hustonville City Council meeting Tuesday night to once again express her support of a new fire and emergency services building in the area. 

Morgan, her daughter, was born with a chromosome disorder called Emanuel Syndrome and in her 10 years of life she has undergone 36 different surgeries, Sebastian said. 

“My family has extreme medical needs,” Sebastian said. “We frequent the hospital quite a bit. She has epilepsy that is at extreme risk of needing immediate transport to the hospital. We have to go straight to UK (University of Kentucky).” 

Sebastian, who underwent treatment for cancer last year, said Morgan is not the only child with special medical needs in the area and having a dependable ambulance service nearby would be a benefit to everyone. 

“It takes a team to raise this child and part of that team is having dependable EMS services,” she said. “I appreciate you all just considering families like ours when you try to get this project moving forward. I will do anything I can.” 

Following Sebastian’s comments, Josh Shuster, of the architectural and engineering firm Brandstetter Carroll, presented new plans for the fire and EMS building to reflect changes discussed during last month’s meeting. 

Council members began scaling back plans for the building after the lowest bid for the project came in about $530,000 higher than the $850,000 total budget. 

Revised plans shared Tuesday night reduced the number of ambulance bays from three to two, with the last one being expandable if the city chooses to add to it in the future. The mezzanine included in original plans was also removed to reduce cost. 

“After the last revision, with the reduced front-end, keeping a third bay didn’t quite work out to fit your all’s needs,” Shuster said. “This would still be contingent on you all performing most of the site work but this should get you down to right at or below $700,000, based off the unit costs that we’re seeing from the last bid.” 

Shuster said finishing the site work, which the city could contract locally to save money, would cost roughly $40 per square-foot, or $60-70,000. 

“This is a shell, basically. You’ll have a functioning bay, two bays, but the front will be a shell,” he said. 

Councilman Marc Spivey asked why the cost for the original plans for the project were so high above the city’s total budget. 

“When we originally presented this job, you had a (general contractor) on board basically giving you prices that we did not agree with, but was chosen to pursue that cost with that job and that layout. We verified that with that (general contractor) and, on numerous occasions, before and after, expressed our concern that this project was over budget,” Shuster said. 

Mayor David Peyton said Brandstetter Carrol does not set their own rates, they’re set by the grant writers. 

“We very much agree with everything you’re saying,” Shuster said. “Both (general contractors) that were attached to the project the same amount of time we were, were very adamant, based on our initial program and the plans for bidding, that they would be in budget.” 

To avoid having to pay federal wage rates, Shuster said the city will need to go ahead and bid out the site prep-work before opening a second bid for the building project. 

Peyton asked Lincoln County EMS Director Ashley Powell, who was in attendance Tuesday night, if the ambulance service would consider helping the city fund the interior work once the building shell is completed. 

“We’ll try. Like I told you, that would be my recommendation, is to present that to Lincoln County EMS and see what we can do,” Powell said. 

Councilman Cecil Maddox expressed his concerns about including space for EMS in the new building without a contractual commitment from Lincoln County EMS.

“What we talked about doing was a lease agreement, EMS doing a lease agreement with city fire, and we had asked for numbers of what that lease agreement would cost, whether it would be on an annual basis, a monthly basis,” Powell said. “I’ve yet to receive a projected total from anyone on that.” 

Powell said approval to release any funding must come from the board of directors. 

“We signed a memorandum of agreement with the intent to move an ambulance service to this area and we still have that intent,” he added. 

At this point, the city has been unsuccessful in securing a final bid so the numbers are still being tossed around, the mayor said. 

Shuster said he will get a projected monthly cost for the buildings’ utilities. 

“We did call and get a quote on the insurance for the building, about $2,300 a year,” Peyton said. “That was the original. This is scaled down so it’s going to be cheaper than the original.”  

Council members voted unanimously to open bids for the site prep-work. 

Update on ambulance services consolidation 

Peyton asked Lincoln County Ambulance Board Vice Chairman Bob Floro how close the services are to completing the consolidation process. 

“The Lincoln County Ambulance Board has completed the contract with the Lincoln County ambulance service. That’s being presented to the group right now,” Floro said. 

Powell said Lincoln County EMS plans to present a proposal to the ambulance board with revisions to the contract for the county ambulance service at the November meeting.

“As far as the consolidation, Lincoln County EMS will effectively take over Waynesburg (Area Rescue Squad) on Nov. 15 at 6 a.m.,” he said. “We haven’t got a date set yet for Crab Orchard (East End EMS) but I’m expecting some time in December.” 

The new Lincoln County EMS Board of Directors has not yet been formed, Floro added. 

“The Lincoln County Ambulance Board, in it’s last meeting, approved start-up funds to be given to the new Lincoln County ambulance service, once the new contracts were signed,” Floro said.

“So that money has already been determined, has been designated and as soon as the new contracts have been signed, it’s theirs to start. It’s about $130,000 in start-up funds. Then additionally, on a quarterly basis, new funds will be provided but they will be considerably higher than they are right now being provided to three separate services.”