Elgin council considers ambulance sale

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Elgin council considers ambulance sale

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

The Elgin City Council discussed the possibility of selling an ambulance it owns to a local group interested in obtaining the vehicle. Dan Bonjour was present at the Monday, July 21, meeting to express the interest of Rural Iowa Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) in the ambulance.

            “We are a volunteer organization that provides communication services in situations where there is an emergency caused by some sort of disaster or major event. In those situations there can be a system overload, especially in small communities, and we can help provide the communication services that are needed,” explained Bonjour.

            The ARES group in Fayette County would use the ambulance as a mobile radio control center, which would be an asset for smaller, rural communities. Major community events, such as RAGBRAI, or natural disasters, such as flooding, often present a need for more communication services, which rural areas often do not have available.

            “We fill in the gaps when there is a need that exceeds what local agencies can provide. We are hoping we can obtain the ambulance in order to improve the services we can offer,” added Bonjour.

           ARES members are licensed amateur radio operators who have volunteered their services and equipment for communications duty as a public service. There are currently 10 active members in the Fayette County organization, which is affiliated with groups in Buchanan and Bremer counties.

            While discussing the possibility of a transaction that would allow Fayette County ARES to take possession of the ambulance, it was mentioned that the City needs to first gain clear title to the vehicle.

            “The ambulance is owned by the City, but the title is still in the name of Tri-State Regional Ambulance Service, which operated the ambulance service before. Before the City could sell the ambulance, it would need to get the title transferred,” said City Clerk Rhonda Dales.

            A motion was made and passed to sell the ambulance to Fayette County ARES for the cost of the paperwork needed to transfer the title.

            In other action, Elgin Fire Chief Matt Ellis was at the meeting and requested information regarding a possible insurance claim on a radio and DVR player that had been knocked out due to a lightning strike earlier this month. The board decided to contact its insurance representative to find out about the possibility of a claim on these items and any other items that may have been damaged but haven’t been discovered yet.

           Ellis also informed the board of grain bin emergency rescue equipment the fire department received from Farm Credit Services, along with training on how to use the equipment.

            Other items of business at Monday’s meeting included approval of two resident building permits and approval of purchasing 3,000 gallons of propane at $1.57 a gallon for a total cost of $4,710.

            The next regular meeting of the Elgin City Council will be 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the Elgin Public Library. 

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