Ambulance contract with city extended

By THOMAS P. WEAVER, HORIZON Editor

CELINA-In their first meeting of the new year held here Monday night, January 4, the Clay County Commission unanimously voted to extend the county’s current contract with the City of Celina to provide ambulance service to the county through July 1, 2011.

The one-year contract currently in place with the city was set to expire this summer, but the resolution dealing with the extension said the contract had an automatic one-year renewal built in “if neither party notifies the other party of a desire to terminate 90 days prior” to the expiration date.

The resolution said “in early November 2009, (Celina) Mayor Willie Kerr notified Clay County he desired to terminate the contract for ambulance services” this year.  

The extension resolution passed was later penned after the Clay County Ambulance Committee was notified the city desired to continue the ambulance service for the additional year.

According to the resolution, the city wanted the additional one-year guaranteed contract because they “desired to purchase billing software so they could do their own billing, but did not want to expend the funds unless they” received the extension.

The resolution said the ambulance committee had “determined it would be in the best interest of the citizens” of the county for the city to continue to provide the service.

The commission followed the committee’s recommendation and passed the resolution awarding the city the extension “under the same terms as previously approved by this commission,” the resolution said.

A copy of the contract extension set the compensation for the extension term at $360,000 to be paid to the city for the service during the additional year.  The same document said the “provisions of the original contract” were to “remain in full force and effect through the extended term,” meaning no change would be made to the original agreement.

In other action, the commission:

• voted to update the official county map to include a closure of a portion of Clifton Rich Road 715 feet southwest from the end of the cul-de-sac in district five, an extension off of Swan Ridge Road 1.2 miles long called Hollow’s Edge Cove in district four, and an extension of Gass Lane off of Clay County Highway 300 yards long in district one,

• approved an application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for Community Development Block Grant funds totaling $500,000 to pair with $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program–which the resolution said would be used “to expand the water treatment plant and intake for the residents of the Northwest Clay Utility District to provide adequate water service,” with the utility district agreeing to pay the seven percent of the amount of grant money received required by the program and any additional funds required to complete the project from it’s construction/capital improvements expenses line item in the district’s general fund,

• passed a resolution in support of the repeal of the “Over-Commitment Law” (T.C.A. Section 37-2-205 (f)) passed by the state legislature during the 2009 session–which deals with counties being responsible for the cost of providing care for any child exceeding the limit of the number of children allowed committed to the custody of the state’s Department of Children’s Services,

• approved a budget amendment to add $9,921 in grant money to the general fund awarded to the circuit court clerk’s office to pay for the installation of a panic button in the courtroom,

• approved a budget amendment to add $221,041.26 in grant money to the general fund to be used to purchase two new ambulances–which will be owned by the county,

• approved a budget amendment to add $1,524.62 in insurance recovery money to the vehicle budget part of the general fund, and

• approved Margaret Birdwell, Kenny Westmoreland, and David Craighead as notaries public.