Members also set open house, ribbon cutting date for Marion location

OSCEOLA COUNTY — A permanent Emergency Medical Services station in the northwest quadrant of Osceola County is closer to fruition.

At a July 15 Osceola County Board of Commissioners meeting, Bob Van Putten, representing Landmark Design Group, presented his firm’s evaluation report of the potential EMS sites located in the village of Tustin at 220 S. Nielson, and near the corner of 18 Mile Road and Tustin Road.

The property in Tustin is adjacent to the fire department and library. It provides 2-acres and has connections to natural gas, septic and water line hookups. The site is compatible for EMS use and has emergency vehicle access. Also, an addition to the fire department could be considered if services were shared, which would also mean shared maintenance costs.

The land has been offered by the village for $8,000. Van Putten said the total cost of the project at the location would be about  $416,000.

The second site, on 18 Mile Road, is a 2-acre parcel of property donated to the county by the land owner. The site is located on a steep hill next to a residence. Natural gas, internet, phone, and electrical services are available, but it will need well and septic hookups. The total cost of the project on the property would cost about $438,000, Van Putten said.

"It's not a huge amount of cost difference, so I don't think cost should be the only decision maker here," Van Putten added. "I think you've narrowed it down to two great sites and we've enjoyed working with the county, (Osceola County EMS Director) Jeremy Beebe and your staff."

Beebe also addressed the commissioners, noting he agreed with Landmark's evaluation and recommendation of the property on Nielson. He added he believes the location on 18 Mile Road could be risky because of the hill and the road used as a major bus route during the school year.

Further discussion led to a motion made by commissioner Tammy Stoner to pursue the Tustin site with a land survey, provided the county has permission by the village. The motion was unanimously approved.

In more business, commissioners scheduled an open house for the new EMS building in Marion, located at 300 Meadowview Lane. The event will take place from 10:30 to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 12, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Light refreshments will be offered.