Ambulance service asks for $80,000

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2005

As city leaders begin developing a new year budget, King’sDaughters Medical Center and Lincoln County Public Libraryofficials made their funding requests during Tuesday’s boardmeeting.

Ken Stroud, KDMC Emergency Medical Services manger, said thehospital is asking for $80,000 from the city – $50,000 to helpcover indigent care and charity services costs and $30,000 to beused toward the purchase of a new ambulance. Stroud’s request tothe city followed a similar request made Monday to Lincoln Countysupervisors.

Stroud said hospital funds will be used to cover the differencein the costs of replacing one ambulance. Two others will also berefurbished using hospital funds.

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The hospital is at a “critical point” regarding its ambulanceservices, Stroud said.

“What’s eating us up is we’ve got three vehicles that are waypast their serviceable life,” Stroud said.

In other budget matters, library director Henry Ledet andmembers of the board of trustees requested $95,000 from the cityfor the next budget year. While the library is facing expenseincreases of 24 to 29 percent, trustee Tom Moak said the fundingrequest amounted to about a 3 percent increase over last year.

“We don’t feel like we’re asking for an awful lot,” Moaksaid.

Moak and Ledet also touted “Between Fences,” an upcomingSmithsonian Institution traveling exhibit looking at the impact offences on American society.

The exhibit is scheduled for January. Moak said the LincolnCounty library is only one south of Interstate 20 to host theexhibit.

Aldermen took no action Tuesday night on the hospital or libraryfunding requests. Mayor Bob Massengill said they will be consideredwhen the board meets to prepare the budget during work sessionslater this month.

In other business, Massengill warned citizens to takeprecautions after a dead bird, found on Lucas Street, testedpositive for West Nile virus. He said he was contacted Monday bythe Health Department.

“This is not good news that a bird has tested positive,” themayor said.

Recommended precautions included use of mosquito spray wheneverpeople are outside and elimination of standing water in yardsaround homes.

Also Tuesday, Alderman at large Les Bumgarner presented aproposed law governing sex offenders’ activities in Brookhaven. Theproposal, based on the alderman’s research of other cities’ laws,would require registration with the city clerk’s office and placerestrictions on where sex offenders could live.

“I just think we need to do as much as we can to protect thechildren,” Bumgarner said.

Aldermen are expected to vote on the proposal at their nextmeeting.

The Brookhaven Municipal Airport will soon have a new weathersystem for pilots and a new fence after aldermen awarded a contractTuesday night.

With a bid of $206,995, Lewis Electric, of Flowood, was approvedto install the All Weather Operation System and a new fence aroundthe airport. The engineer’s estimate on the project, which will usefederal funds, was $275,234.

“It will help pilots, and the fence around the airport willcertainly help with security,” Massengill said.

In personnel matters following an executive session, CliffordBritt was named airport manager to replace the retiring BoyceBullock, and Patsy Wallace was chosen as the mayor’s secretary. Shewill replace Bonita Bullock, who also retired last week.

During the regular board meeting, Municipal Court Judge JerryNations and City Prosecutor Raymond Boutwell were reappointed totheir current posts.

Following an extended discussion with Jimmy Self, of SBA NetworkServices, aldermen tabled a decision on a request for a newcellular telephone tower proposed for the intersection of W.L.Behan Road and Boyce Drive.

Self, working for New Cingular Wireless, estimated the 220-foottower would provide 600 percent more coverage than placing antennaeon the smoke stack in downtown Brookhaven. With the tower near theairport’s flight path, he said the site needs Federal AviationAdministration approval, but he was 99 percent sure of securingthat OK.

Aldermen acknowledged some poor coverage downtown but also hadsome reservations about the tower’s proximity to the airport.

“We want it not too high and in the right place,” said Ward TwoAlderman Terry Bates.