Fewer ambulance false alarms at Dulle/Hamilton

Efforts made by the Jefferson City Housing Authority have satisfied the Cole County Commission that it will be better able to bill individuals at Dulle/Hamilton Towers when false alarms involving ambulances occur.

At Monday night’s commission meeting, Housing Authority attorney Jack Pletz said they had been working to inform residents of when and for what they should call emergency medical services, and also working with the monitoring system on identifying where calls come from.

In early February, the commission

suspended for 60 days a rule allowing them to bill landowners or property owners for false alarms.

The suspension applied only to the authority to allow them to address a problem brought to the commission in January. It was reported that from May 2010 through January, more than half of 840-plus ambulance calls to the towers were false alarms.

Since that time, Ambulance Director Mike Shirts said they had responded to 168 calls and only nine were classified as false alarms.

Shirts added they still bill for what is called a dry run, when an ambulance crew assesses and treats a patient, but does not transport them.

Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said the initial problem was trying to determine individuals responsible for initiating false alarms.

Shirts said he and Housing Authority Director Allen Pollack believe they can determine which individuals are responsible for these with the pull cord system currently in the towers.

Ellinger said if those indiviuals can be identified, then they should be the ones billed.

Courthouse repairs

In other business, commissioners decided to meet with a contracting firm from Springfield about maintenance and repair work at the courthouse and courthouse annex.

MTS Contracting, Inc, submitted the lowest of three bids to do work such as brick and stone repointing, removing and resetting bricks and repairing stone in these buildings.

Their bid was $188,613.

Commissioners said they wanted to make sure they felt comfortable the company could do the work without numerous change orders saying none of them had experience with this type of work.

“We need to make sure it’s right, because we really get one shot at this,” Ellinger said.

After meeting with MTS, commissioners said they would decide if they needed to bring in someone to oversee the project.

It’s estimated the work would take four months to complete.

Also Monday night, the commission gave approval to have a couple of residents look at what could be done to re-start the courthouse clock.

Wardsville area resident Chuck Lahmeyer said he and Norris Siebert of Russellville had been in the clock tower. Siebert, who Lahmeyer said has worked on clocks for several years, said the problem is the pendulum is broken.

Siebert believes all the other parts of the clock were still in good shape and if the 135-pound pendulum, which is sitting on the floor of the clock, could be put in place it would run again and it wouldn’t cost much to do.

Commissioners said they were open to the two men looking at the clock, but did want county maintenance personnel with them.

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