County building not in flood zone

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Allen County commissioners said Tuesday a dispatch from the Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed what they thought all along, the building they purchased at 410 N. State to house emergency services is not in the flood zone.
Work on the old Heartland Rural Electric building, to convert it to 911 communications and emergency operations centers, had proceeded on that premise.
Angie Murphy, 911 center director, said work on the communications area was coming together quickly.
“It should be ready ahead of time,” she said.
The county will assume full control of 911 communications on Jan. 1 and commissioners have planned to start operations in the new quarters about Jan. 15. The building also has an official name. Commissioners approved Murphy’s recommendation that it be labeled Allen County Critical Response Center.
Construction of an adjacent structure to house Allen County ambulances and crews will be done by the design-and-build method. A hearing on the procedure drew no objections; also, no potential contractors provided qualifications, but commissioners think some will surface now that mechanics for construction of the building are in place.
With design and build, a contractor proposes a blueprint as part of the contract.
As time for the switch from City Hall to the county building nears, Murphy said some things needed done, including assurance that all rural homes had visible addresses. “Many don’t,” she said, which occasionally makes a property hard to find, particularly when it is far off a county road.
Murphy also said she anticipated having to hire two or more communications officers when the switch occurred.

JASON NELSON, Emergency Medical Services director, proposed adjusting ambulance charges at an earlier meeting. Commissioners approved the changes Tuesday, to bring them in line with what other services charge.
The changes: base life support non-emergency, $215 to $450; BLS emergency, $320 to $575; advanced life support non-emergency, $395 to $575; ALS emergency, $495 to $675; mileage, $10.50 a mile to $12.
Nelson said EMS continued to be busy.
“We’re up to almost 900 runs for the year,” he said.
The county’s backup ambulance was put in service this week. One stationed in Moran, which does most out-of-county transfers, is in the shop with transmission problems. Nelson said the newest of the four was moved to Moran, because of increased demand.
Bill King, director of Public Works, told commissioners a motor in the crusher at the landfill, recently replaced at a cost of $16,000, went down, which meant purchase of filter rock for completion of the new landfill cell from Nelson Quarries. About 1,500 tons at $7.20 a ton was required, he said. Altogether, about 40,000 tons of filter rock will lie atop an impervious plastic liner at the bottom of the cell.
King was uncertain whether the motor could be repaired or would have to be replaced.