MADISON — The Dec. 1 meeting of the Boone County Commission (BCC) was called to order with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silent prayer.
During the meeting, the commission heard from the Boone County Ambulance Authority (BCAA) concerning ongoing changes and adjustments to the group as well as the prospects of a private ambulance service coming to Boone County.
Last month, the BCAA fired its now former director Randy Lengyel.
The Coal Valley News reported at the time that Lengyel and the board’s former president and vice president came under fire after the authority gave Lengyel a $103,000 loan, which turned out to be illegal and unethical.
Lengyel reportedly paid back the loan and Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph dropped the pursuit of criminal charges.
The new president of the BCAA, Josh Barker, addressed the BCC saying, “We’re making a lot of changes. Hopefully we’ll have a new director by the January meeting. Our December meeting is going to be at Scott High School. We’re moving a whole lot quicker than I could have imagined…Morale is up and the public seems to be happy…That is the most important thing.”
Barker requested the BCC allow the BCAA to use the commission’s previous chambers to conduct future meetings in Madison.
Citing Barker added the BCAA would like to start hosting it’s public meetings in different locations throughout Boone County.
Barker addressed the possibility of a private ambulance service coming to Boone County saying, “We have given you a letter that our attorney has gotten together. We know that a private [ambulance] company had approached you…As a board, we decided to address it to you guys that we do not want a private organization coming in here and trying to take our business.”
The BCC also heard public comment about the impending closure of the county trash dumps and the imposition of trash collection fees.
The crux of the address was the financial burden that would placed on citizens for trash collection. The supposition was forwarded that, without the free trash service, the county would soon be inundated with refuse.
Commissioner Mickey Brown responded, “We wouldn’t close this if we didn’t have to close it. It was all paid with coal severance tax.”
Other actions taken by the LCC included the approval of a bid for $3,100 for upgrades to a radio tower used by Boone County emergency services.
The next meeting of the Boone County Commission will be held Tuesday Dec. 15 at 10 am in the judicial annex building at the Boone County Courthouse in Madison.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165 ext. 1661 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.