County Board Approves Ambulance Fee Increase

By Alex Haglund

The Washington County Board approved ambulance rate changes which were proposed by board member Victor Shubert, who worked on the changes with Washington County Ambulance Department Administrator John Felchlia. The changes were presented to the board at the meeting held on Tuesday, September 12.

The fee changes were based on a weighted average of the ambulance rates of Washington County, Pinckneyville and Troy. The increases proposed varied from five to 23-percent over the current rates and the differences were based on the different types of calls received, and whether they were for in or out-of-county patients.

The department’s mileage rate was also increased from $13 to $14 per mile.

The rate increase should take effect on October 1, and Shubert said, “it will probably be for a two year period,” which is not mandated by law or statute, but Shubert said, is just the rough amount of time between these rate changes in the past.

These rate changes, “based on last year’s call, it would be about $81,000,” said committee member Jeff Evans. Evans and Shubert did say that while the rate schedules are important to have on the books, most of the calls that the Washington County Ambulance Department handles are medicare anyway, and are paid at a set rate.

Historical Society Plaque

The Washington County Historical Society presented a request to the Washington County Board to place a plaque at the courthouse memorializing the massacre of the John Lively Family by Native Americans in 1813.

The massacre occurred in a remote area of the northern portion of the county and due that remoteness, the historical society, represented by museum curator Elaine Rucker and Society President Catherine Dinkelman, asked to place the plaque at the courthouse instead.

Dinkelman presented a sample plaque to the board, so that they could see the material it would be made of, but said that the actual plaque would be larger than the one she showed, about 8 ½ by 11 inches.

Building Committee Chair Gary Suedmeyer said that he thought that the section of the courthouse’s interior hallway where the county 9/11 memorial is located might be a good spot to locate the plaque, and stated that he would present the issue to the building committee for discussion at their next meeting.

Zoning

Three zoning cases were ruled on by the Washington County Board.

The first was a request for a special use permit for Kijuana Mamell. While the permit was to allow an RV as a residence, it was actually a “tiny house,” which would be used by Mamell to stay near her mother, who she helps to run a daycare. There was no opposition from the zoning committee and they voted in favor of recommending it to the full board. The board also approved the permit.

The second case was zoning map amendment for William Segelhorst, rezoning three acres from agricultural to rural residential. Unanimously approved for recommendation by the zoning committee, approved in turn by the board.

The final case was a zoning map amendment for Kevin Brink, 3.9 acres from agricultural to rural residential. Unanimously approved for recommendation by the zoning committee, approved in turn by the board.

The Zoning Board of Appeals also had a new member appointed. Long time member Hank Borrenpohl resigned from the board of appeals, effective August 10. Shubert submitted Bruce Schneider to be appointed as a replacement for Borrenpohl and the board approved.

Highway Department

There was a resolution brought to the board by Highway Department Superintendent and County Engineer Mitch Burdick for a number of 50/50 drainage projects in Hoyleton Township.

These projects include culvert repair or replacements on:

• North Cherry Road, north of Walnut Hill Road

• Two on Hickory Road both a quarter mile east and west of Cherry Road.

• Aspen Road, a quarter mile south of Pin Oak Road

• Two on North Prairie Road, an eighth of a mile south of and a half a mile north of County Highway 22.

These resolutions were all approved with one vote. The total cost for all six projects is $21,680, the county will pay for half and the township road district will pay for the other half.