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Ambulance contract set to expire

With Pike County’s Care Ambulance contract near expiration, commissioners are discussing the next step.

County Attorney Allen Jones said in Monday’s commission meeting he has met with Care, Haynes and Pilcher ambulance companies to discuss possible bids when the 3-year contract expires this December.

But, the implementation of a new contract could lead the commission to develop an ambulance board to filter comments from the public on ambulance service.

“It doesn’t have to be, but we thought it might be in connection with the ambulance contract and bid process,” Jones said. “It is strictly for monitoring, policing and fielding complaints or compliments.”

Jones said the county is in the process of discussing who would serve on the board, but the members would represent the cities of Troy and Brundidge, as well as Pike County.

“It would certainly include all areas of health care,” Jones said.

The ambulance board proposal was submitted by District 4 Commissioner Ray Goodson in previous meetings.

No action has been taken on the proposal, but Jones said he would draft a report for commissioners on what other counties are doing for ambulance service.

Jones said all three of the ambulance services were in support of having an ambulance board in Pike County.

Also in Monday’s meeting, commissioners approved an early retirement incentive package for some county employees.

County Administrator Harry Sanders said the incentive would offer 75 percent of salary and benefits to eligible employees in one lump sum.

While he said he can’t say for sure how many would be interested in early retirement, the program could save the county money by either not replacing the position or filling the position with someone at an entry-level salary.

Commissioners also awarded a bid for three new cars for the Pike County Sheriff’s Department to Ken Cox Ford for $21,795 each.

Sanders said the funds have already been budgeted in this year’s budget.

“Each year, if possible, we try to cycle out three cars to keep our fleet going,” Sanders said.

A separate bid for a new Animal Control Officer truck was rejected, and the commission gave Sheriff Russell Thomas permission to rewrite the requirements to obtain a lower price.

In his report, County Engineer Russell Oliver announced the repairs made to the Conecuh River Bridge on Needmore Road are complete, and the 3-ton weight limit has been removed.

Also, he said the paving of Salem and Reynolds Roads are on their final steps.

In other business, the commission:

-approved to add unused funds from last year’s budget to this year’s budget for the Reappraisal Office.

-authorized to issue a request for a new maintenance truck at the court house. The current one is 15 years old.

-approved a memorandum for the bus conversion kits.

-approved a proposal to rewrite the county’s emergency operation plan.