Board to communicate decisions

Special meeting scheduled for transparency in EMS base decisions

OSCEOLA COUNTY — After fielding negative comments about the board’s decision to build an Emergency Medical Services base in Marion, the Osceola County board of commissioners will hold a special meeting to explain its decisions. During public comment at the Nov. 20 commissioners meeting, Sherman Township supervisor David Eggle urged the board to make ambulance service to the northwest quadrant a priority. Elmo Hoaglund, also of Sherman Township, said he was unhappy with the board’s decision, while Roy Kissinger, Rose Lake Township supervisor, urged the board not to overlook residents in the northwest area of the county. Alan Gingrich, of LeRoy, also addressed the board during public comment. He reminded commissioners of a piece of property purchased eight years ago on which the board intended to build an EMS base. The property is no longer being considered for a base location and sits empty. “You didn’t have a very good plan before. Do you have a good plan today?” Gingrich said. After hearing residents’ concerns, commissioner Larry Emig proposed the idea for the special meeting held in Tustin, as a way for the board members to communicate their thoughts concerning the EMS base decisions with constituents of that area. “I’ve felt all along, and still feel, that the northwest quadrant needs services,” Emig said. “The people of the northwest portion (of Osceola County) were not here (at the commission meeting) when we had the architect come and explain the data. If we hold a special meeting, everybody can come together and hear our plan.” The special meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Commission on Aging site in Tustin. When the meeting date is finalized, it will be posted. Commissioner Tammy Stoner, who represents much of the northwest quadrant, said she is happy that the board will hold a special meeting. Stoner was the only commissioner to vote against every step of the EMS base project. “Growing up in Tustin 30 years ago, we still had the same EMS service as we do today, and two directors have come in and recognized the need (for additional services in the northwest quadrant),” Stoner said. “I look forward to the meeting on Dec. 18. Hopefully people can give them some answers because it has not been fair... ever.” In other business,
· The board approved a bid from Spartan Electric, of Luther, to upgrade electrical systems at the Tustin Commission on Aging site;
· The board voted to fund the $2,500 extraditing cost for an Osceola County man charged with causing injury in a home invasion who fled to Oregon. The board was approached by prosecuting attorney Jim Sims, who said he learned of the expense on Monday and did not have money left in his budget. The prosecuting attorney’s annual extradition budget is $1,500. If the county had not voted to pay for the extradition, the suspect would have been released in Oregon. The next meeting of the Osceola County board of commissioners will be at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Osceola County Courthouse.