Director of Butler County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chad Pore met with the board of county commissioners Tuesday, August 1 to request approval for the purchase of a new ambulance.

The new ambulance would replace the 2012 Chevy G4500 that was totaled in a crash on June 17, 2017. Fortunately, both crew members did not sustain serious physical injuries as a result of the crash. The board of commissioners approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford Transit from Osage Ambulances at a price not to exceed $141,900.

Butler County EMS has not yet received the insurance payment for the totaled ambulance, but any funds received will be used towards the purchase of the replacement ambulance. Any additional funds needed will be pulled from the EMS budget. EMS will remove the scheduled 2018 ambulance purchase from the capital improvement plan (CIP), too, as the unit totaled was the one scheduled to be replaced next year.

Pore also requested approval from the board to send four additional crew members to the EMS World Expo in Las Vegas in October. The board of commissioners approved Butler County EMS sending four additional crew members at a cost not to exceed $4,000.

Additionally, Pore informed the board that Butler County EMS recently won a Hooley Service Award for pulling data to evaluate lights and sirens responses and using that data to cut the amount of times they respond to calls with lights and sirens by over 50 percent.

"So, today, we respond to over 61 percent of 9-1-1 calls without lights and sirens, and that's a huge safety push across the country. It makes it safer for our crew, safer for the patient [and] safer for the public. Most ambulance accidents occur when they're running lights and sirens. So cutting down on that and not having any detrimental patient outcomes because of that was pretty big," Pore said.

Earlier in the meeting, Facilities Management Director Dan Ingalls brought a change-order document to the board of commissioners for approval and signature. He informed the commissioners that the remodel of EMS Station #1 is complete. Change orders for the project have been completed, and a punch list has been completed to Butler County's satisfaction. Now, the county must complete all payments due. The total amount of change orders due to McCollom Construction Inc. is $3,600. Originally, $65,000 was budgeted in the CIP for the remodel. McCollom's winning bid came in at $60,640, which left a contingency of $4,360. The cost for the total project was $64,240, including the change orders cost. The board approved the change-order amount and authorized Chairman Jeff Masterson to sign the document.

Community Development Director David Alfaro met with the board of commissioners on Tuesday to seek approval for two lot splits, a change in zoning and a conditional use permit (CUP) request.

The first lot split was a homestead lot split request by Joyce Finley at 19722 SE Flinthills Road in Latham. Finley owns a tract of land containing 157.7 acres and proposed to split a 10-acre, plus or minus, tract of land with placement of a 70-acre, plus or minus, agricultural preservation overlay (APO) on the property. The property is primarily grass, with a pond located on it. The board of commissioners approved the homestead lot split request and directed Chairman Masterson to sign.

The second lot split was a mortgage lot split by Robert and Joy Harder on property located at 16442 NW 20th St. in Benton. The Harders own a tract of land containing 148 acres, plus or minus, and proposed to split an 8.7-acre tract of land with placement of a 71.3-acre APO on the remaining property. The property is primarily used for farming activities. The board of commissioners approved the mortgage lot split request and directed Chairman Masterson to sign the APO agreement.

The change-in-zoning request was by Lowell Lygrisse for a change from AG-40 to rural residential (RR) classification on property located at 3399 SW Santa Fe Lake Road in Towanda. Lygrisse owns a tract of land that contains 72 acres, plus or minus. He requested to rezone 32 acres, plus or minus, which will allow him to gift the land to his son and grandson – who will then split off some smaller tracts of land for the construction of two homes and farming the remaining property. As part of the change in zoning, Lygrisse will be required to relocate his driveway. The board of commissioners approved the change-in-zoning request.

The CUP request was by James Keller of James Keller & Frances Hazen Living Trust for the purpose of running a topsoil harvesting operation on a 77-acre, plus or minus, tract of land at 330 W. Rosewood St. in Rose Hill. The board of commissioners approved the CUP request.

In the public comments part of the meeting, Spring Township Trustee Kathy McDowell asked the board to consider making SW 100th Street and Haverhill Road a safer intersection as there have been multiple accidents there. She suggested reducing the speed limit or putting up a caution light since there is a blind spot in the east. The board of commissioners said the county's public works department is currently looking into a solution for that intersection and that Public Works Director Darryl Lutz can follow up with McDowell on the issue.

During the other items of business segment of the meeting, Lutz asked the board for permission to purchase a new Deutz engine for the county's landfill compactor from Hamofa Industrial Engines of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in a total crated price of $34,500, with transportation to be arranged. The Deutz engine purchased in June for $31,930 from Memo Parts of Southlake, Texas was bad; Lutz returned it and received a full refund. The board of commissioners gave Lutz permission for the new purchase.