The ambulance committee appointed by Hamburg Mayor Dane Weindorf had its first meeting Monday night.
The committee discussed the information they needed to collect in order to advertise for bids for ambulance service.
Hamburg’s voters adopted a sales tax to fund ambulance service for the city and surrounding areas in September, though the vote did not include a specific plan.
Weindorf has previously said the service could be provided by a private operator or could be a city-operated department similar to the police station.
In past discussions, the mayor has said he would likely submit the “bid” on the city’s behalf, while private operators could also bid, with whichever option is ultimately cheaper prevailing.
Weindorf suggested Monday that the committee meet with Jeff Swanson, who he called the guru of ambulance services. The mayor told the committee that he trusted Swanson to give them good, sound information. A committee member suggested looking at what types of agreements other small towns similar to Hamburg have in place.
The mayor said that the bid needed to be clear about what the city of Hamburg was expecting such as how many ambulances needed to be available at certain times throughout the day, and that the ambulance be present at Hamburg football games.
Weindorf said it also needed to be decided how the city was going to handle the ambulance station that will be included in the new fire station, a project that is currently under way.
Those considerations would include if the city would need to rent the ambulance space out or deduct that from whatever subsidy they agreed to pay a hypothetical ambulance service, he said.
The committee agreed that a large amount of research would need to be done, and agreed to meet with Swanson if the mayor could set up a meeting that could all attend.
Ambulance service in Hamburg is currently provided by FAST Ambulance through a $10,000 monthly contract that the city splits with the Ashley County Quorum Court.
In other news:
-A Hamburg resident approached the City Council Monday night about grass clippings in street.
The concerned resident told the council that he was a motorcycle enthusiast and explained that when people mow their yard and blow the clippings into the street it is very dangerous to motorcycle riders.
City Attorney Paul Keith said he didn’t know if there was already a city ordinance in place to restrict citizens from doing such, but he would check and get back with the council at the next meeting regarding the issue.
The resident also asked the council to help raise awareness of the issue because some people are unaware of how dangerous it is.
-City Clerk Peggy Akers told the council that the city had been reimbursed around $200,000 from the highway department for the recent road improvements and that the funds were deposited back into the capital improvement fund.
-Weindorf announced that the city has not, despite some discussions, entered into an agreement with the county government regarding the sewer ponds.
The Quorum Court has requested the use of the city’s treatment ponds for the disposal of leachate water from the county landfill.
The mayor said he needed more information and chemical test because he didn’t want to enter into an agreement until he was sure it would not be detrimental to the City of Hamburg.