During their regular Tuesday, Feb. 26 meeting, Hartselle City Council members unanimously voted to authorized Fire Chief Steve Shelton to begin seeking proposals for a new ambulance service provider for the city. County EMS has provided ambulance service since 2009 for Hartselle. However, the company has had several operational problems since the Jan. 17 death of the previous owner Terry Garwood.
In early February three County EMS ambulances were repossessed after their leasing company could not contact the company in regards to the account. County EMS then produced probate orders stating that Garwood’s son, Matthew Garwood, is the new owner of the company and recovered the ambulances within the same week.
Now, County EMS has another set-back in operations. The company leased four of their trucks to Samaritan EMS in Union Grove to help cover operational costs. The company leased out the ambulances because their assets are frozen until the licensing process with the State Department of Public Health is completed. Terry Garwood was given 30 days to complete the paperwork, Shelton said.
County EMS usually has five ambulances to cover the Hartselle area, and after leasing the trucks to Samaritan EMS only has two 24-hour ambulances and one 12-hour ambulance to cover the city.
The City Council plans to decide on the renewal of the ordinance with County EMS or hire a new provider in April.
Another major development in the city is the approval of the soon to be upgraded cellular service in the area. The council approved Special Use Permits for AT&T to begin the renovations of their two towers in Hartselle. The permits allow the company to upgrade AT&T towers located at 2910 B U.S. 31 North, and 999A Railroad Street with the ability to provide 4G cellular service.
In other business the council:
• Heard from City Planner Jeremy Griffith in an introduction of the proposed rezoning of a single family dwelling, acreage tract at the SW corner of Parker and Byrd roads from AG-1 to R-1 in order for the property to be divided into two tracts of less than five acres in size. The Planning Commission will issue a recommendation at its next meeting, prior to final council consideration.
• Heard from City Planner Jeremy Griffith in an introduction of proposed changes to the city’s abandoned property ordinance to comply with state law.
• Approved the authorization of Fire Chief Steve Shelton to apply for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security Grant for the purchase of 700 MHz radio communication equipment for the Fire Department. Chief Shelton said the Morgan County Commission has committed to giving the City $2,500, and House Rep. Ed Henry committed to finding $2,000 to complete the total $4,500 local match needed to quality for the $18,000 grant.
• Approved special event permits for: The Morgan County Sheriff’s Rodeo Parade to take place beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9; and the West End United Methodist Church Block Party to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16. (See Community News on Page 1 for more details on events)
• Approved two budget adjustments for Public Works: One in the amount of $15,660 to renew the vehicle maintenance long-term warranties for three sanitation trucks; and the second in the amount of $800 to cover the cost of advertisement for recent job vacancies.
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