At its July 11
meeting the Burns Harbor Town Council will hear how the town Fire Department
proposes to expand its basic ambulance service by adding an
advanced-life-support ambulance for critically-ill patients.
to operate an ALS rig with specially trained paramedics would take four or
five months, said department liaison councilman Mike Perrine, but the
council needs to approve the proposal first before anything can be
A public hearing
was set for next month to appropriate $75,000 from the town’s cumulative
capital development fund and $50,000 from the rainy day fund for the
start-up equipment, ambulance and initial staffing. Perrine said local
businesses have donated an additional $50,000 for equipment; if the project
isn’t implemented, the money will be returned.
state money might be available for salaries under a new grant program, and
town attorney Bob Welsh was asked to research if CCDF money can be used for
Fire chief Bill
Arney said with everything there is to do, the ALS ambulance likely wouldn’t
be put into service until late this year or early 2013.
Miller said it looks like the council is moving in that direction so a
budget estimate for the project has to be developed. Perrine said that can
be supplied next month.
Freeze suggested Arney contact officials at the new St. Anthony Hospital
24-hour emergency facility in Chesterton as an optional location to
transport ambulance patients.
seeking an additional appropriation to allocate money for the ambulance
service, the council was under the gun to comply by July 1 with a new
Indiana law or risk having the appropriation denied. After a lengthy
discussion members voted 5-0 to adopt the state’s minimum requirements
regarding nepotism and contracting with a relative.
At issue was
whether the council wanted to be more restrictive in its local resolution
and include clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan, whose husband Kurt regularly
provides free computer services to the town but at times charges for parts
or on larger projects.
services can run about $200 an hour, said Jane Jordan, who annually files a
conflict of interest statement identifying her husband as doing work for the
"Are we shooting
ourselves in the foot by being stricter than the state?” asked councilman
Perrine said for
20 years he’s provided free repairs to the town’s HVAC systems but will
discontinue doing so in light of the new law. “I think it’s too slippery a
slope for me.”
including all elected officials would avoid the appearance of unethical
behavior and increase public trust. Council president Jim McGee wanted the
ban to extend to department heads. “This is Burns Harbor. Let’s set the
example for everybody,” he said.
councilman Gene Weibl said it’s a new law that will have a shake-down period
and might be tweaked in the future.
Another new law
taking effect July 1 is a smoking ban in public places, said Jordan, which
includes all town buildings and vehicles. No smoking will be allowed a
specified distance from municipal buildings, and no ashtrays can be located
in the smoke-free zone leading to speculation Wednesday that cigarette butts
will litter the building entrances.
It was agreed
the new restrictions will be included in the town’s personnel and police
unanimously, members gave final approval to re-establishing the CCDF rate at
a maximum $0.04 on each $100 of assessed valuation. That would generate
approximately $202,066 a year compared to the current $29,805 annual revenue
from a half-cent rate.
The request now
goes to state tax officials for approval. The council earlier this year
requested a maximum $0.05 rate but it was sent back because Burns Harbor was
ineligible to seek that amount.
required public hearing council members said they have no specific plans for
the new money at this time but priorities will be established. Collections
won’t begin until 2013.