Calhoun County Council is moving to increase fees for Emergency Medical Services.
The council approved first reading of an ordnance to hike the fees at it's meeting Monday night.
In the previous council meeting, Bill Minikiewicz, Calhoun County Emergency Services director, said that after 40 years of not raising rates, it is time for the county to catch up.
County Administrator Lee Prickett said all around, EMS services are becoming more competitive. Personnel are required to have more training, and the job is a bigger commitment, he said.
Prickett said the new rates should raise additional funds that could then go toward salaries of EMS personnel.
One rate being changed is the amount charged for event standby services. Minikiewicz said they have been charging the same rate of $60 per sports events since 1990. High schools now can pay up to $300 a game, he said.
The new rate will be a negotiable $100 per hour, which could go up based on the size of the event.
Minikiewicz said the hourly rate of the crew alone is well over $100, meaning customers would be paying for the cost of labor while still getting the ambulance basically for free.
New rates were modeled using Saluda County, which was determined to be similar in size to Calhoun County.
If passed, the new EMS Fee Schedule would take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
In other business:
- Council recognized the success of the Calhoun County Recreation Department Soccer All Stars.
Assistant County Administrator Ted Felder said the All Stars have had a successful season with participation remaining at more than 100 children.
Recreation Department Director Tyrone Dantzler thanked council for the resources and also thanked the dedicated parents and children.
“We want to continue to try to grow it and see what happens with it,” he said.
Certificates were given to the children who made the All-Star team. Dantzler said this means they are members of the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association and will play against all the other soccer all-star teams in the state.
- Certificates of Achievement were presented to Calhoun County Animal Control Officers Ron Gibson, Cheryl Price and Shawn Smith for the adoption of animals during 2017.
Prickett said 291 dogs and 51 cats have been adopted since January.
“We do everything we can to try and provide a service to our community with animals,” he said.
In the months of March, April, May, June and July, zero dogs were euthanized, he said.
Councilman John Nelson said, “There’s just a lot of good work that goes on that needs to be recognized.”
- Felder gave a report on marketing at the I-26 Industrial Park, which included a Nov. 20 event at which the county hosted some of the South Carolina Department of Commerce project managers at the speculative building at the park.
“It was a really good opportunity for us to introduce some of the new project managers at Commerce to our building,” Felder said. “Selling that building and moving forward with its finding an owner is key to our future plans at that park.”
Nelson said, “I think we’ve got the right people seeing the great benefits we have in the county, the advantages of the business environment we present here, and I can’t imagine that that’s (the spec building) going to be out there much longer.”
“We’ve got some good businesses in our industrial park,” Councilman Ken Westbury added.
“It speaks well of the industrial park for who we have in our county,” he said. “Being a lifelong county resident, it just makes you proud to go out there and just see the kind of stuff that’s going on in Calhoun County.”
- Council authorized Prickett to pursue an extension on an option for the county’s Class 2 landfill, which is running out of space.
The option is with an adjoining landowner for 30.8 additional acres. The option runs out Dec. 30.
The option will cost $2,000 for another year.
- Felder reported on a recent delinquent tax sale. He said $594,110.35 was collected at the sale, with 163 properties being dealt with.
- Council approved the payment of two outstanding invoices to LCK. One is for $3,358.94 for engineering services and design build. The second is for $38.52 for travel reimbursement.
- Council approved a request to place security cameras at the animal shelter.
- Council approved second reading of an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of property located at the intersection of Access Road and Pascon Court to SPW LLC.
- Council went into closed executive session to discuss economic development related to the anonymous projects operating under the names Project G2 and Project Fruit Basket. They also discussed a personnel matter regarding Christmas bonuses.
- Council returned to open session and approved Christmas bonuses of $150 to full-time employees and $75 for part-time employees.