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Engineering report endorses site for proposed downtown ambulance base

by Jeff Haldiman | December 22, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

The proposed site for a downtown ambulance base is "ideal for this project," according to a preliminary engineering report presented Tuesday to the Cole County Commission.

The report, which was done by Architects Alliance at a cost of $13,400, analyzed the proposed site for the station, which would be a county-owned parking lot across from the county jail on Adams Street.

Currently, an ambulance is stationed in the county jail, but officials said creation of a downtown ambulance station would improve efficiencies and expand services.

The proposed two-level station with three bays would allow the EMS service to put two ambulances in operation in the downtown area 24 hours a day and seven days a week, EMS Chief Eric Hoy said. He said the ambulance currently housed in the county jail helps control costs due to the operations of the jail, but it can present challenges, so it's not an ideal location.

The calls for service in the downtown area are higher than in any other location in the coverage area with an average of 10 calls a day. Hoy said those calls for service are double what they see at their other locations.

The preliminary engineering report was done to fulfill Community Development Block Grant application requirements to build a downtown station. The commission is working with Jefferson City to seek a CDBG grant.

Because the project would be located in the city, the city would apply for the grant on behalf of the county, which operates the EMS service. The city can apply for up to $2 million in block grants to the project. The Architects Alliance study said the total cost for the project would be more than $2.8 million, with the grant paying the majority of the costs and the rest coming from funds out of the half-cent sales tax for the EMS service.

If the grant is approved, the city would be responsible for the oversight of the activities of the grant. Lincoln Brown with the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission, which has been helping the city and county assemble documents for the effort, said they will have to show how they are addressing the needs of residents with a new EMS base.

Brown told commissioners he needed to have any documents of support for the project sent to him "as soon as possible." If they get all the documentation they need, the CDBG grant request could be ready in two weeks, he said. How soon the city and county could find out if the funding was awarded is unknown.

Print Headline: Report endorses site for proposed downtown ambulance base


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