Board mulls ambulance service contract with AMR

By PAT BROWN,

The county will save quite a bit of money over the next several months for ambulance services offered by AMR, the current service provider. 

A bid opening for ambulance services for Simpson County was planned for Monday morning’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors.  Then the board agreed to extend the contract because AMR is in the process of merging with a larger company and the merger is expected to be complete within 90 days. 

The county accepted an agreement that would continue to offer ambulance service through AMR through June 2, 2018, at no charge to the county.  The county had been subsidizing AMR $5,000 per month for charity service.  The new agreement would represent a $20,000 savings to the county and at the end of the period the county would still have the option of selecting which company to do business with in the future. 

County engineer Buddy Wolverton reported that the bridge project on Cox Road was nearing completion.  He also reported that the state aid projects on Pine Grove, Waters, Lower Sanatorium and John Owens roads were 90 percent complete but the time elapsed was twice as long as was expected.  These are currently awaiting final inspection. 

 Sheriff Donald O’Cain reported an internal investigation occurring over funds that were seized from Kelvin Price of Hattiesburg in the amount of $733.  The case will not be prosecuted.  Another situation was reported with Mitchell Booth of Magee in which $733 is being returned in a case that will not be prosecuted.

The board approved a resolution designating a section of Highway 49 in Simpson County as Mississippi World War II Veteran’s Memorial Highway.  This is in conjunction with legislation that is going through the house for the same designation. 

The case of damage to resident Johnny Floyd’s driveway which was presented to the board earlier has yet to be settled.  Three bids for work were submitted to the county ranging from $3,300 to $2,500 depending on the nature of the work.  The board was to make contact with Floyd to see if this would be satisfactory.  Floyd asked for repair to three sections of his driveway, but it appears that the county is only willing to pay for repair to one section.  The estimate for the three sections that Floyd is disputing is $5,400.  Floyd claims that county garbage trucks used his driveway to turn around after they were instructed not to do so and caused cracks to the driveway. 

The board approved issuance of a check to Jimmy Dale Smith for a damaged windshield for $215. 

The board tabled a claim for a garbage truck that had been repaired for a cost in excess of $5,000. It worked for one day and now repair costs for the same problem are in excess of $12,000.  For another garbage truck repair, the  county had been charged $14,000, and the truck would require an additional $13,000 in repairs.  This was also tabled for additional information. 

The board approved the purchase of an advertisement in the Simpson County News annual Profile edition. 

A special session is planned for board members to meet with CoLin officials to discuss expansion of the Simpson County facility.

The next scheduled meeting of the board will be at 9 a.m. on February 15.   

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Area high schools have chosen their top graduates for special honors at graduation ceremonies across the county this month.  They will be recognized and speak to audiences at those ceremonies.