The Franklin-Simpson Ambulance Service may soon be operated by a private entity.
The F-S Ambulance Service Board of Directors voted at its Dec. 15 meeting to advertise requests for proposals to provide emergency ambulance services within the city of Franklin and Simpson County.
The ambulance service board asked Simpson Fiscal Court to facilitate and negotiate the contracts for the bid winner.
The bids must be received at the Simpson County Judge Executive’s Office in the Courthouse no later than 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 3.
Discussion of the bids is expected at the Simpson Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Courthouse.
Simpson County Judge/Executive Mason Barnes said one condition with a private entity is that it maintains operations at the current ambulance service facility on Macedonia Road.
“They (ambulance service) will still operate out of the building they are operating out of currently,” Barnes said during discussion about the ambulance service at the Dec. 21 Simpson Fiscal Court meeting.
The ambulance service will continue to be dispatched through the 911 dispatch center for Simpson County, which is at Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green.
The private entity will be responsible for all utilities, maintenance and upkeep of the ambulance service facility.
Barnes said the decision to have the ambulance service operated by a private entity is “based on staffing numbers and public safety.”
He said the proposals will dictate what happens to the ambulance service tax, but does not expect the tax to completely go away.
The ambulance service tax is paid by Simpson County property owners to fund the ambulance service.
“There is going to continue to be an ambulance service, but sometime in the near future, next month, there will be another entity running the ambulance service,” Simpson Fiscal Court Magistrate Marty Chandler said during fiscal court’s Dec. 21 meeting. Chandler is fiscal court’s representative on the ambulance service board of directors.
“The Medical Center and other places are paying so much for their employees, the ambulance service has lost a lot of employees,” Chandler said. “To provide the best service for the people of the community, this is the avenue we had to take. The ambulance service is not going out. There is going to be a new entity controlling it. For the tax dollars coming in and the amount being paid for payroll, it was only a matter of time before all of the money would be out of the reserves at the ambulance service and they would not be able to afford to operate it.”
An ad seeking the request for proposal is in the Dec. 23 edition of the Franklin Favorite.
A Simpson County Deputy Sheriff graduated from the Department of Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy on Dec. 16.
Skyler Hicks was among the 36 members of class 522.
The graduates received 800 hours of recruit-level instruction over a 20-week period.
Major training areas include patrol procedures, physical training, vehicle operations, defensive tactics, criminal law, traffic and DUI, firearms, criminal investigations, cultural awareness, bias related crimes and tactical responses to crisis situations.
A link to information about the graduation is on the Simpson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Simpson Fiscal Court approved a budget amendment ordinance during its Dec. 21 meeting.
The court approved second and final reading of the ordinance that adds $165,086 in unbudgeted revenue and appropriations to the county budget.
The revenue includes $111,288 in general fund surplus from the prior fiscal year being used to purchase election equipment and $53,798 in federal and state funding for the jail to be spent for jail costs.
The purchase of voting machines from Harp Election Services for $105,886 was also approved. The county will receive a $28,600 grant to be used toward the cost to purchase the voting machines.
The sheriff’s 2022 revenue bond, a resolution authorizing a county roadway maintenance program, a renewal for a cloud-based technology program used by the jail and a sheriff’s copier lease were also approved.
The Franklin-Simpson Planning and Zoning Commission denied a request for two zone changes at the same location on Dec. 21.
The request was for zone changes from AG (agriculture) to B-4 (highway business) for a 1.69-acre parcel and AG (agriculture) to R-2 (single family and duplex) for a 6.45-acre parcel both on the south side of Scottsville Road and west side of Rapids Road.
A public hearing was held on the requests prior to the planning and zoning commission’s vote.
No other business items were scheduled for the meeting.
Franklin City Hall, the Simpson County Courthouse and annex along with the Simpson County Justice Center are all closed Thursday, Dec. 30 and Friday, Dec. 31 for the New Year’s holiday.
The administrative offices of Franklin Police and Simpson County Sheriff’s Office are closed Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. Police officers and deputies will be on duty and can be reached by calling 270-586-8824. A direct line to dispatch is available in the police station lobby on Court Street.
The Franklin branch of the U.S. Post Office is closed Saturday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day with no services available including no mail delivery and no window service.