Commission narrows down EMS sites in northwest quadrant

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Site options for a new Emergency Medical Services station have been narrowed down from five to two after a unanimous vote during the Osceola County Board of Commissioners meeting on March 18.

Bob Van Putten, representing Landmark Design Group, presented his firm's findings from recent site visits to each property, showing photos and stating pros and cons, the cost, site size and building size, if applicable, and if the existing building meets Michigan building code.

The first building commissioners are taking into consideration is located at 109 Howard St. in Tustin. The building is about 3,100 square feet and has natural gas, septic and water line hookups. The building, formerly Kristy's Cut and Curl, was built in the 1990s with a wood frame and metal roof and costs $85,000. It meets EMS building needs, but a property line will need further verification, a new well is needed and renovation is required as it currently does not meet Michigan building code or EMS criteria, Van Putten added.

The second building site is located at 220 S. Nielson in Tustin, adjacent to the fire department and library. It provides 3,200 square feet and has connections to natural gas, septic and water line hookups, Van Putten said. The cost for the site is to be determined, but the building 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.

Following site details, Van Putten discussed the total cost for the EMS project at both sites, using the new building specifications for the Marion location as a guide.

For the first Tustin site, he estimated a total cost of $352,000, which includes the purchase price of the site, renovation of living quarters and garage area, and site work. The price tag does not include a project contingency fund, furnishings, equipment, data wiring, professional fees, site survey, soil borings, environmental reports or structural modification required to meet Michigan building code essential building criteria.

The second Tustin site's estimated total cost is $508,000, and does not include a project contingency fund, furnishings, equipment, data wiring, professional fees, site survey, soil borings, environmental reports or structural modification required to meet Michigan building code essential building criteria.

Following his presentation, Van Putten thanked the commissioners for allowing him the consulting opportunity.

"I really enjoyed working with the county on this project and I hope this study was helpful to you," he said.

Commissioner Tammy Stoner, who is also the EMS Ad Hoc Committee Chair, returned the thanks from Van Putten and said she is pleased with the job by Landmark Design Group, adding the company easy to work with. Stoner attended site visits with Van Putten and said she prefers the Tustin sites because they have potential and feel they are adequate spaces for an EMS station.

Stoner made a motion for the commission to move forward with further evaluations regarding both sites. In addition to the first motion, commissioner Alan Tiedt made a second motion to allow the spending of up to $10,000 for the evaluations, soil borings and other analyses needed by Landmark Design Group in accordance with Osceola County EMS Director Jeremy Beebe.

Both motions passed with none of the commissioners opposing.