Hamburg officials said the recent tornadoes that struck the city helped them identify areas that could be improved for better response in the future.
ProMed Ambulance owner Ken Kelley told the Hamburg City Council Monday that ambulance crews went out in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 to help police and fire departments with post-storm assessments.
As the day moved on and the company returned to its normal business, they found a snag in operations plans that needed to be addressed, Kelley said.
“There is no backup power at the station, and since we are there 24 hours a day, they had to go through some dark nights,” he said.
The fire station, which the city owns but ProMed uses as part of its contract with the city, now has a backup generator, Kelley said.
Hamburg Mayor Dane Weindorf said the city is looking for a permanent generator that could power the entire fire department building. He also said he wants to be able to power City Hall to keep storm sirens going.
“(The siren) ran for a while,” he said “(But later) you couldn’t hear it because there wasn’t any electricity and it wasn’t running.”
After the major stop lights went out on Main Street and the city had to resort to using four-way stop signs at the intersections, the city has purchased cones with a rotating light to make the four-way stops more visible, Weindorf said.
In other news from the council meeting:
-The council adopted a budget cleanup resolution to accurately reflect what its operating expenses for the 2019 fiscal year were.
The city had $1,155,575.15 in general fund expenses and $5,240,857.97 in expenditures from other funds for a total of $6,396,433.12 in expenses.
The biggest costs to the city general fund were the Hamburg Police Department at $506,603.45, administrative costs at $216,678.79, and the fire department at $144,592.74.
-Police Chief Johnny Oliver told the council that the department had set up a radar trailer to alert drivers when they are speeding.
“It seems to be working good,” Oliver said. “People are slowing down quite a bit I have it set at a certain speed that it will flash red and blue lights at you. It seems to get people’s attention.”
-Public Works Director Jimmy Hargis said the water department has gotten its maps in order for its planned extension in the coming months, but said the city still has some flexibility to receive more new rural customers.
He said those who are interested can still contact the water office for more information.
-The council adopted a loan resolution to take out $630,000 to fund the rural water expansion.
The resolution authorized the loan, but one of the conditions of the loan was that the city also accept a grant of $1.2 million to help fund the project.
-Kelley told the council that ProMed had secured a grant for the community to provide training for police and firefighters to administer Narcan, which is used in responding to opioid overdoses.
The grant, which will not cost the community anything, will cover the training and equipping with Narcan, Kelley said.