The Clay County Commissioners held a six-hour meeting yesterday, touching a variety of subjects. Many of these items were expanded upon from their previous meeting last month, answering questions and creating many more.
Without a doubt the most important item on the commissioners' bill was Air Evac, an air-support ambulance company based in Missouri. Mention of the group's interest in franchising in Clay County was brought up at last month's meeting, and representatives from the company made it to Brazil this month to flesh things out a bit.
Rich Johansen, administrator of St. Vincent Clay Hospital, accompanied Seth Myers, Vice President of Operations for the company, and Gary Evans, a regional paramedic manager and Greencastle resident, to the meeting. Their 30-minute presentation outlined the company's objectives and gave facts and figures from their research.
"Death rates from a life threatening, traumatic injury are three times more in rural areas," Myers said, "and we don't believe this is right. Metropolitan areas have a relatively quick response time for disasters like this, where persons in rural areas can wait a long time for help to arrive." If Air Evac chooses to come to Clay County, they can be set up in 30 to 90 days. Though another center is relatively close (Washington, Ind.), Myers said that Brazil is "geographically interesting" and he could see how an agreement with the county could work out.
Several other counties are courting Air Evac at the time, however, and the company's future in Clay County is uncertain. The Commissioners seemed very interested in pursuing talks with the company, though Myers said that "the ball is in my court" and that "he would contact Clay County."
The County Commissioners, namely Daryl Andrews, are apparently interested in pursuing these talks.
"If you have interest in Clay County," he said, "we definitely have interest in you."
Though Air Evac was the focal point of the meeting, several other items passed through the desks of the commissioners. Among these were:
- Discussion on renovations of the Probation Office. These talks were limited, as the commissioners were waiting on a bid from a construction company to get the ball rolling.
- Trash disposal at the county courthouse and police station. The county is not currently under contract with their current provider, Jamax. A bid from Wallace Bros. was nearly identical to prices charged by Jamax, leading the commissioners to split the work up for the companies. Upon approval by Sheriff Rob Carter, the County Commissioners recommended that one company remove trash for the Courthouse, while the other dispose for the police station.
- Changing the path of a fiber optic cable between the Courthouse and the police station. The cable must be moved to facilitate construction of the new jail. The commissioners moved to wait to make a decision, pending on a bid that was unavailable at the time of the meeting.
- A brief discussion of a lot in Carbon. The lot, which was cleaned with Carbon's money, will be sold by the town. $4,000 will go back to Carbon to reimburse them for their cleanup efforts, with the rest of the proceeds going to the county.
- The signing of a contract with Maximus. The commissioners signed a three-year contract with the group, which "goes and looks for federal money the town may have missed," according to Commissioner David Parr.
Other items included the revamping of Courthouse elevators and fire alarm inspections. The next County Commissioners meeting will be held at 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3. The general public is invited.