Glenwood City council approves new ambulance directors

GLENWOOD CITY — The City Council learned that current ambulance director, Alisa Eggert, was resigning at the end of this month. Eggert informed the council at its regular monthly meeting of February 4th.

Eggert reported to the council that Char Draxler and Julie Lee have agreed to share the duties of director and the council agreed to that.

But Eggert also addressed several other matters concerning the ambulance service. She noted that the main ambulance has electrical problems and attempts to correct those problems have not been completely successful, but noting that it is being worked on. Apparently the electrical problem drains the batteries on the unit and it will not start when it is needed. The backup ambulance sits behind the main ambulance in the station and it is necessary to move a fire truck to get the second ambulance out if the first ambulance does not start.

Council member Steve Lee suggested that another overhead door be installed in the west wall of the fire station to allow the second ambulance egress from the building. But, it was learned that no discussion has taken place between the ambulance and fire departments in an attempt to solve the problem. But the main problem is that repair is very necessary to the main ambulance so that it will start.

Eggert also noted that the back up ambulance was out on a run the other day when the main one would not start and a second call came in and a unit from Boyceville had to cover the run.

Eggert had another problem and that is the number of Emergency Medical Technicians that are with the service, noting that the number is down to 12 with Draxler adding that with Eggert leaving that number is reduced to 11. “It’s hard to depend on 12 EMTs to fill in for full coverage,” Eggert noted.

Mayor John Larson indicated that he has read news accounts of other communities’ ambulance service and that they are also having problems with keeping a staff. Lee suggested that in the future it maybe necessary to hire full time people to staff the ambulance.

Other Business

In other items, the council entertained two members of the Glen Hills Area Chamber of Commerce to addressed community activities that the chamber was involved in. First Charlotte Heimer address the float for the Miss Glenwood City queen’s court.

She noted that the current float is old and has many problems and needs to be replaced along with the trailer that it sits on. She explained the cost of a new one was over $13,000 and she has been looking for used floats. She indicated that the Queen’s committee felt that they could have local people work on building a new one keeping the cost in the six to eight thousand dollar figure. “I am looking for donations,” she told the council, suggesting that $2,000 from the city and a like amount from the Chamber and with donations that the job could be done. After some discussion on the matter the mayor said, “I think that the city could come up with $2,000.”

Joan Bartz also appeared before the council to talk about the Chambers involvement with the Christmas decorations and the summer hanging flower baskets that grace main street. Bartz noted how the chamber handles the flowers and that Linda DeGross and her crew comes early every morning to water the plants. “They use a golf cart owned by David Prissel to water the plants,” Bartz said. That golf cart has been stored in the garage that Glenhaven purchased some time ago, but now that is being razed to make room for the Glenhaven project and that Prissel would like to sell the cart and she is asking the city to help with a donation. The price of the cart is $2,000 and Bartz said that the chamber would raise half of that and the city the other half and then the chamber would turn the ownership of the cart over to the city.

The city also heard from Patrick Beilffuss of Cedar Corporation, who was at the meeting to refresh the council’s memory about the “Safe Route to School” program. He has had talks with the council last year about the program. He explained how the program worked and that federal grants would fund the entire project. “But you need a plan to move forward,” he explained. The grant is a two year cycle and that the applications will be due at the end of this year.

After several questions and more discussion the council moved to spend $2,000 to allow Cedar Corporation to develop a plan after a couple of meetings with local officials. Mayor Larson noted that, “we need to partnership with the school and do this as a joint effort.”

After this was concluded, council member Crystal Booth asked the mayor if she could revisit the float and golf cart items of the chamber. The mayor said “sure.”

Noting that she may not be back after the April election and that there is a need for the Chamber to take care of the float and summer flowers, Booth moved to have the city donate the $2,000 for the float and $1,000 for the golf cart. Her motion was approved on a five to one vote with councilperson David Graese voting no.

The council also heard a report from Kevin Oium of Cedar Corporation about the 2013 street project of Third and Elm Street. He questioned the council about special assessments along those streets and he said that some residents on Elm Street would like to have the sidewalks discontinued. He said if a special assessment is done then a public hearing with costs must be provided. The council asked him to put some figures together and then they could have a discussion.

Member Nancy Hover presented the library report, which noted about the summer reading program titled “Dig into Reading.”  The report also was the Library’s Annual Report on circulation and is showed a decline. Total circulation in 2012 totaled 28,909 as compared to 2011 number of 33,328. The internet usage did show a slight increase.

Member Scott Schone reported on the upcoming summer recreation program and what is being planned for improvements at the ballfields. He said that they have 28 teams involved and have 60 to 70 volunteers coaches involved in the program.

Police Chief Robert Darwin discussed having background checks done on the volunteers involved with the program.

And finally the mayor informed the council of the date of the annual Board of Review which is on May 21st with open book set for April 22.