With speculation in the air and a deadline approaching, the Long County Commission, as of Monday, still had not taken any formal action regarding the continuation of emergency medical service to Long County, according to commission Chairman Robert Long.
Liberty Regional Emergency Medical Services currently provides the service, but that contract expires at midnight April 1. The contract between LRMC and the Long County Commission originally expired Jan. 1, but was extended through March. According to earlier information provided by Vice Chairman Kent Hall, Liberty EMS increased its bid to provide service to $120,000 annually. EMS Director Robyn Todd said the increase is necessary to offset higher service-provider costs stemming from health-care reform and less being collected from Medicare, Medicaid and medical-insurance policies.
Although no formal action has been taken, Long said the commission is considering using Okefenokee EMS for a 90-day trial period. According to its website, Okefenokee EMS provide services in Waycross, Pearson, Brunswick and Jesup.
On March 4, the commission held its monthly meeting, where several community members complained about roads. Kasey Goode said that the roads in the Vicker’s Hill subdivision have several problems, including drainage issues and missing street signs. She said the roads’ condition has caused damage to several cars, and with the increased traffic volume, Goode thinks the area is dangerous.
Commissioner Willie Thompson said that the roads are private property and have not been accepted by the county, so the county cannot maintain them. Commissioner Dwight Gordon said the commission will address the matter, but until the roads are repaired, the county cannot assume responsibility for them.
Wendy Stephens complained about her property being flooded due to drainage problems on Hall Road. She wants something done about it. Hall said the drainage culvert was replaced by the county, but because of the lay of the land, water flow cannot be controlled. In addition, another person owns the property between Stephens’ home and the drainage ditch. Since that lot is private property, the county can’t make any changes to the land.
Long County Board of Elections member Patricia Johnson went before the commission and expressed concern that the county is not in compliance with federal guidelines, seeing as how the board did not have three members, and qualifying fees for the upcoming election have not been posted. She said there were two members, and she encouraged the commission to appoint Alice Woodard as the third member. The commission took no action during the meeting but on Monday, Gordon said the board has three active members and the county is in compliance. He said the three members are Sue Woods, Joy Smith and Johnson.
In other business, the commission:
• decided to hold its first reading for a proposed ordinance governing E-911 signage requirements in April.
• unanimously rehired Jay Swindell as the county attorney.
• reported that the cost to remove mold, repair and renovate the courthouse came to $498,000.
• reported that it is looking for at least three members for the county’s historic-preservation committee.Those interested in serving on the committee can go to the commission office and speak with the county clerk.