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Hancock Fiscal Court discusses replacement of Emergency Operations Center equipment

The Hancock County Fiscal Court met on Monday evening, August 28th, and discussed the purchasing of equipment to replace PCs and servers utilized in the county’s Emergency Services.

Paramedic and Director of Hancock County 911/EMS, Damian Rice, presented to the court invoices for equipment and upgrades on some of their hardware. September 2023 marks the 5-year warranty expiration to replace those. Every 5 years the equipment is replaced and the company used since 2012/2013 is GeoConex.

The amount on the invoices went over the county’s $40K limit, and the court made the decision to have those reviewed by an auditor first, before approving the purchase. “If you go over that threshold,” Judge-Executive Johnny “Chic” Roberts said, “it requires you to bid that out publicly. It’s best practice to get three quotes, if you go over $40K. We want to run it by an auditor and make sure we’re good.”

Rice said the phones will be replaced next year, as they are on a five-year cycle with that warranty as well. He also reminded the court about the Kentucky Emergency Services Conference held in Louisville September 5th-8th, that some of the county’s dispatch employees will be attending.

Annual Public Health Resolution

“We met with the Kentucky Department of Public Health in July and decided to leave tax rates unchanged,” Roberts said, “and that remained unchanged. We had no bids and so we voted to rebid those and we’ll be getting those out soon.”

A few months ago, the court discussed the amount of turnover, due to expiration from buying in bigger volumes of medicines. “It’s hard to gage what you’ve got to use,” Rice said. “I think we knew that there was a month coming up that there was going to be a lot of expiring. Last time I ordered, I was able to do individual quantities on some things. I use 3 vendors and they’ll price match each other.”

When some medicines aren’t used and expire, they have to be disposed. The court discussed how wasteful that is. The smaller quantity orders are being made available now, Rice said, which will help solve the problem. It required many hours of work by Rice and crew members to keep tabulation of inventory, and Roberts said he will be checking on prices for software that would scan the inventory and keep tabulation on it to make the process more efficient.

Weather Sirens

The court received only one bid late on Monday for weather sirens in the county, which was past the deadline. Those were required to be submitted on Friday, August 25th, and the court made the approval to rebid. “We hope we get those rebid,” Roberts said.

Land Over Entrance Tiles

“Currently we do a 12-inch, 30-foot minimum on land over entrance,” Roberts said. “I’d like to move that. I’ve talked to Dave (Tindle, Road Dept. Supervisor). We have so many rains; I’d like to move that minimum.” The court approved that, as these access point entrances/paved driveways affect the efficiency of the county’s roadway network.

Roberts further explained, “The county, if you have an entrance on the county road, the landowner buys the tile, the county actually puts that tile in. It’s a 30-foot tile, like an entrance tile. Now we have a 12-inch minimum on the mouth of it and we wanted to raise that to 15 because with these rains, we’re getting so much trash and everything, these tiles are getting stopped-up. We’re still going to put them in and still have one load of gravel on top. The driveway at the top of county road has always been 12 by 30, but we’re moving it to 15 by 30. You have leaves or corn from crops, etc., and they get into the end of these and it clogs them up. This 15-inch [change] should help that.”

Fire Dept. Report

Hawesville Fire Chief Shane “Fish” Richards told the court, “We just dropped engine 203 (the department’s newest truck, 2018 model) off at Don’s. It’s got a hole in the radiator so it probably won’t be long.”

Resolution 2023-08

Resolution 2023-08 was approved by the court, as it is each year. “Every year we bring in a new Mack Truck,” Roberts said, “and then we do a lease agreement through KACo (KY Assoc. of Counties) and take the other one to an auction. The last few years we did really well on that. We actually keep the truck for a year and we make money on it. Last year I think we made almost $50K selling through the program KACo has, so that is what’s coming [in September].”

By Jennifer Wimmer

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