Board of Supervisors still expecting proposals from Keokuk and Fort Madison Fire Departments
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
LEE COUNTY – Lee County Supervisor Gary Folluo said Tuesday morning that the county has received two proposals for ambulance service starting July 1, but to date no contract for the next fiscal year has been signed.
At the Lee County Board of Supervisors teleconference meeting Tuesday morning, Garry Seyb Jr., a Republican candidate for supervisor in the November general election, pressed the supervisors on whether Lee County Emergency Medical Services has agreed to extend their current contract.
Folluo said supervisors have allocated $500,000 in the next fiscal year to supplement ambulance service in the county, but Lee County Emergency Medical Services officials have not resigned the contract at that funding level.
Folluo said the county does have a proposal from Richard Young, who’s family owns the company, to continue the service. He said one other company has also submitted a proposal.
The county is also waiting to hear proposals from Fort Madison and Keokuk to have the fire departments in those cities provide countywide service.
Supervisor Matt Pflug asked if there is a drop date for proposals and Folluo said the county should be making a decision on that before the end of the month. But no deadlines were approved at Tuesday morning’s meeting.
“We probably should make a decision here by the end of the month and we should have a special meeting to decide what we’re going to do. That’s my personal opinion.”
Supervisor Rick Larkin said the proposals were complicated and a special meeting would be warranted.
Seyb asked the board if that meeting would be open to the public. County Auditor Denise Fraise said it could be open, but left the door open to close the meeting as well.
State code allows for closed meetings to discuss negotiations on contracts. The reason would be to not tip one service provider’s offer to others who may still submit a proposal for a contract within the county. Since no deadlines have been set to receive proposals from other provides, public discussion on the proposals could be disadvantageous to those being discussed in open session.
In an unrelated issue, the county voted to approve installation of 11 Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail signs for up to $200 each.
Kirk Brandenberger, executive director with the Keokuk Area Convention and Tourism Bureau, asked the board to consider waiving the fee to install the signs saying the county would see the financial benefit of the signage from people on the trail.
“Money will come back to you eventually through increased stops to our small towns and sites,” Brandenberger said.
Folluo, along with Lee County Engineer Ben Hull, expressed concerns about the precedent waiving the fees would set. Supervisor Matt Pflug initially made a motion to approve the installations waiving the fees, but then amended the motion to include charging up to $200.
In other action, the board:
• approved the 2021-25 Department of Transportation Construction program in Lee County, 5-0
• approved the 2021 Department of Transportation budget, 5-0
• approved a memorandum of understanding with the administrative, roads, and sheriff’s union regarding waivers of leave time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Folluo cautioned that the documents are fluid documents and can be changing based on state and federal information on the pandemic.