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Commission addresses ambulance concerns

Scott Jones, a former EMT, approached the Marengo County Commission during Tuesday’s meeting to discuss the status of service from Amstar Emergency Medical Services throughout the county, citing concerns of Amstar EMS’s finances.

He also came forward to obtain information about the county’s EMS Committee.

In addressing the commission, Jones asked, “I want to know, basically, who’s on this EMS Committee, what authority are they operating under and what are they doing to see that this county has an ambulance service to provide for its citizens the day that Amstar closes?”

He added that the City of Demopolis “has already taken steps to provide coverage for their citizens.” The Demopolis City Council approved the purchase of an ambulance for the city’s Department of Public Safety during a September meeting to provide residents with a timelier ambulance response time.

Commissioner Freddie Armstead said Amstar will continue to service the county and has no plans to close.

Commissioner Jason Windham also assured Jones that Amstar is still operational and that the commission has made contacts that are willing to fill Amstar’s role should the ambulance service be unable to service Marengo County.

“There will never be a day when this county goes without ambulance services,” Windham said.

Windham also said that Amstar, which operates without a contract with the county, serves the area at no cost and that would likely not be the case if the county switches to a different ambulance service. He also said that he didn’t think the county was at the point to consider other ambulance services.

He then said the county is too large to buy ambulances and station them across the area as the Demopolis City Council recently decided and that he felt the best course of action is to “deal with the cards we’re dealt with right now and then move forward in a way that’s best for the citizens.”

Other items discussed by the commission are as follows:

• Aubrey Patterson, a Coxheath resident on Red Oak Road thanked the commission for grading his road following his request for such services at the September meeting, and he asked when they would send a side cutter, to which he was assured his road would be serviced soon. Patterson also asked when more work could be done on the road where rainwater overflows into the street, County Engineer Ken Atkins said plans have been made to pull ditches on the road.

• Ellen Tate, a of Coxheath resident on Bunny Creek Road also thanked the commission for improvements made since her request at September’s meeting, but shared concerns of a bridge covered in vegetation near her house being in disrepair and not visible enough to traffic. Atkins said he would assess the bridge for improvements and Martin suggested adding reflectors and removing the overgrown vegetation to make the bridge more visible.

• approving the reappointment Linda Yelverton to the Marengo County Economic Development Board on behalf of District 5, as proposed by Commissioner Michael Thompson. The commission also tabled the appointment by Armstead on behalf of District 1 until the November meeting.

• approving the hiring of David Bennett as a deputy of the Sherriff’s Department.

• approving a liquor license for 702 Sports Bar.

• entering executive session based on general representation of character.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Marengo County Courthouse.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, October 10 and Saturday, October 13 issues of the Demopolis Times.)