MT Council discusses Carver gym, ambulance contract

Friday, April 17, 2015
The Marked Tree City Council held their April meeting in Carver Gym. (DT Photo/Corey Clairday)

Two big items on the Marked Tree City Council's agenda this month involved discussing the state of the Carver Gym and an exclusive contract with Riverside Ambulance. The council held their meeting Monday night in Carver Gym itself, rather than city hall like usual.

The dilapidated state of the gym was apparent throughout the meeting as the roof leaked in several places during the storm. Water pooled on the floor and ran down the wall and over the bleachers in a couple spots.

"If we don't fix it, we might as well tear it down," Alderman Danny Johnson said. Several aldermen voiced concern about the state of the gym and the need to either repair it replace it.

City Treasurer Pam Wright noted a new roof was put on in 2004 and cost $33,000. After Alderman Gail Nichols voiced concern about how many thousands it might take to do all the repair work necessary, Wright said it could be cheaper to tear the gym down and build a new one, though the city cannot afford the work and would have to look for grants to fund it. "We know the shape of this building. I don't know about you, but I don't want kids inside here," Wright said. "I wouldn't want my kids being in here, especially on the bleachers."

In the end, the council agreed to see if the Carver Gym group was interested in the city deeding the gym to them. Discussion will continue next month after the group has been contacted.

The council also discussed a contract to make Riverside Ambulance the sole provider of ambulance services for 911 emergencies in the city. The council had tabled the matter last month to see what the Quorum Court decided to do on their ambulance ordinance. That vote was also tabled during the Quorum Court's March meeting.

David Simmons, Director for Riverside Ambulance, reiterated the company's local roots and heavy involvement in the community. "All we're asking is to renew a contract that's been in place since 1994," Simmons said. "There is not enough area in the Tri-City area for two services to survive. We want to be that service."

Simmons said Riverside has agreements with other ambulance services in the county who they can call on if a truck is not immediately available. He also clarified that under the contract another ambulance service could come to Marked Tree, and the five year contract merely states that Riverside would get all the 911 calls. "I think you know we're not going to void a contract with you," Simmons said.

The contract was approved with a vote of 6-2. The Lepanto City Council approved a similar contract with Riverside Ambulance in January.

The council also discussed a grant available to put in a new taxiway at the Marked Tree Airport. The estimated cost would be $600,000, and the city would be required to put up 20 percent of the cost, which would be reimbursed later. Wright noted it was all free money but said the city just this week got fully reimbursed for an airport grant applied for in 2013. The council agreed there was no need for a new taxiway and decided to pass on the grant opportunity.

In other business, the council:

*Approved a transfer of $18,000 from the Airport Funds to the Capital Building Funds to cover payments on the hangars, $12,000 to cover last year's payment and $6,000 to cover half of this year's payment.

*Approved a transfer of part of the Industrial Funds into the Industrial Funds CD.

*Amended an ordinance allowing the city to do business with city council business owners. The ordinance was amended to include city council members and family members of city council members.

*Approved a resolution removing two city vehicles, which have been sold, from the inventory. The vehicles were a 2008 Dodge Charger from the Police Department and 2004 Chevy truck from the Water Department.

*Approved hiring David Boykon to full time from part time with the Police Department.

*Approved hiring Regina Hindman as police dispatcher.

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