Davis County commissioners are working with Davis Community Hospital to obtain a grant to build an ambulance station.
The commissioners will act as recipient of a proposed public works grant through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs with these funds going toward the construction of the EMS station at the hospital.
“There is currently an OCRA grant available for public facilities and an EMS station is considered a public facility,” said DCH Grants Writer Carrie Shaw. “So, we hope our application will be submitted by October and if approved, we will be funded by the end of the year. They will pay up to $500,000. We will have to match 10%.”
The commissioners unanimously approved the application, which will also include the Southern Indiana Development Commission providing oversight for the grant.
“I think a lot of people forget how much progress we’ve made with our EMS. They want to take it to the next level and build a location as a stop in Washington, just like we did in Canelburg and Udon,” said Nathan Gabart, Davis County Chief Commissioner. Access to an OCRA grant so we can build a station. This will improve the situation for our paramedics and improve response times to make them faster than they already are.”
The Ambulance Service is talking about constructing a freestanding metal building, much like a West End fire station in Washington.
The facility will include two bays to house four ambulances, an administrative area, sleeping quarters and a kitchen.
Currently, we only have two ambulances in Washington, but we have a reserve fleet in Cannellburg and Udon. “We would like to have the ability to maintain a backup fleet here in Washington,” said DCH EMS Director Tim Lowe. “Now, our staff are on the third floor of the hospital, so when they get a call to run, they have to negotiate the entire hospital before they get to the emergency room. We definitely need this. The hospital has been offering the service for four years and I’ve moved it four times trying to figure out where to house them.” It should have been done four years ago when it started.”
The hospital received a facility estimate that put the cost at $350,000, but Lowe points out that because of the source of the funding, the cost could go up a lot.
Along with the ambulance service proposal, the commissioners also discussed their pending construction project, the Davis County Courthouse renovation.
Officials are finalizing specifications and the project will be released this summer. This will then begin with a mass exit from the courtroom as the building will be closed while work is done.
“Once we get bids back, we’ll start looking at moving offices this summer, and once we’re ready to start construction, we’ll see moving offices,” Gabart said. “We’re starting to draw it out. We still need the judicial system by reshaping it. My thoughts are we draw a two or three radius circle around the courtroom and look to see where we can put these people. The closer they are to each other, the better. This will be First thing for us. We’ll look to see what divisions need to be together and then see how we can meet some of the space and technology requirements. In some cases we’ll have full matches and others we won’t.”
The courts, prosecutor’s office, probation and clerk are expected to be in temporary homes for 18 to 24 months during construction.
Some offices are expected to be moved to the basement of the facility.
In other areas of work, the commissioners received notice from the Ministry of Health that they may have to take more measures to quarantine and isolate people due to the increase in the number of some cases such as HIV and tuberculosis.
The commissioners instructed district attorney Grant Schwarzentrupper to begin the process of selling a piece of property near the 15th Street Bridge in Washington.
County Highway Superintendent Chris Winkler briefed commissioners on plans to repair an old road that had been closed due to mining.
The commissioners also reported meeting with coal company representatives about plans to close part of CR 200 N.