The Liberty County Board of Commissioners approved an $84,707 request from Emergency Management Services to remount an ambulance onto a Dodge chassis.
County Administrator Joey Brown said that EMS Director Robyn Todd recommended using the low bidder, Custom Works Specialty Vehicles, which came in below the Peach State Ambulance bid of $117,995.
The board approved the bid, with Commissioner Donald Lovette, a hospital employee, abstaining.
Liberty Regional Medical Center CEO Scott Kroell also gave an update on the hospital.
During the last fiscal year, which closed Nov. 30, both revenues and expenditures were greater than the budgeted amount, Kroell said.
The hospital closed the year with $466,358 in revenues in excess of expenditures.
In the current year, expenditures for indigent and charity care are running 10 percent below last year’s amount, Kroell said. He attributed the drop in indigent care to working better with patients and a strengthening economy.
In the first quarter of 2012, the hospital recruited Dr. Becky Coefield to work with general surgeon Dr. Christina Berenguer.
Coefield, who has fellowship experience in bariatric surgery, will begin seeing patients Aug. 1 in the Liberty Regional Medical Center office building.
Kroell also updated on the hospital’s 14,000-square-foot expansion, which will double its emergency room and add a C-section room near the obstetrics area. Current project estimates place the cost around $12 million, though it only is in planning stages.
“I would like to invite you to pass a motion … to show the folks in Atlanta that we’ve had this discussion, it’s a preliminary discussion, and that you support our efforts to expand the emergency department and the C-section room,” Kroell said.
Commissioner Eddie Walden asked when plans would be available. Kroell offered to provide him with a copy of preliminary designs.
Commissioner Gary Gilliard asked how the expansion will affect parking. Kroell said the plans add additional spots to existing parking areas, with only two trees being affected.
The board approved the motion of support. Lovette abstained on this vote as well.
Read more about the BoC meeting in Sunday’s Courier.