Councilman wants to talk about ambulance service

Iola City Councilman Carl Slaugh asks county commissioners how to resolve concerns about the ambulance service.

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June 16, 2021 - 9:30 AM

Iola city councilman Carl Slaugh appeals to Allen County commissioners to create greater communication between the city and county in relation to the county’s ambulance contract currently up for bid. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

“How can we resolve some of the concerns you have?”

That was Iola city councilman Carl Slaugh’s question to commissioners regarding Allen County’s ambulance contract currently up for bid.

Depending on the outcome, the city of Iola may no longer provide the county’s ambulance service, a situation concerning to many.

“My perception is that policies, procedures, practices, are more of a hang-up than costs,” Slaugh added.

“I think it would be beneficial if we got representatives from the county and city to talk about the procedures and practices that are of concern.”

In particular, Slaugh brought up the possibility of work sessions between interested parties, especially when it comes to how priorities are determined on fire and EMS calls.

Commissioners seemed receptive to Slaugh’s observations, though commissioner Jerry Daniels said it was his impression that meetings of this kind had already taken place in April during a designated negotiation period.

Regardless, as pointed out by Terry Call, “according to the RFP, the county reserves the right to discuss with both sides these details that Carl is talking about.”

Hence, it’s at least possible that parties may again come to the table before the close of bids.

And it may be important for the city of Iola to do so, since as commissioner David Lee observed, “if we choose to go with Iola, we need to figure some things out.”

IN OTHER news, during his weekly report, public works director Mitch Garner said that Allen County had seen some storm damage following rain and high winds, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as in Anderson County.

The situation to the north was severe enough that Garner sent crews to assist with recovery efforts.

Locally, some trees were down on West Virginia Road following storms, and there were also a few washouts here and there.

Dust control measures begin next week, and Garner also mentioned that he’ll be meeting with KDOT about the Moran detour, where some road damage has occurred.

There may be a pothole patcher that the county could purchase in Manhattan, and repairs are still taking place on the county’s rock crusher at Murphy Tractor in Humboldt.

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