Cramped quarters will soon be a thing of the past for Marion emergency medical crews, as county commissioners moved Monday to purchase the former Auto House building to house ambulances and personnel.
Commissioners took a tour of the building at 1242 Commercial Dr. a week ago, looking over its two bays, office area, upstairs break room, and loft. The building also has a fenced-in storage yard at the rear.
The price discussed was $175,000. Some remodeling of the office, break room, and loft will be needed to make it compatible for use as an EMS office and provide living quarters for on-duty emergency medical technicians.
Commission chair Randy Dallke said he especially wants to move forward to build on positive momentum in the department.
Commissioner Dianne Novak said she wants to move forward but with questions about the Straub building still nagging, she is concerned about buying the Auto House building.
Commissioners called for an executive session to discuss acquisition of the property, then authorized county counselor Susan Robson to proceed with a contract.
Former commissioner Dan Holub put in an appearance to take exception to Novak’s words from an earlier meeting when discussing the condition of trees at the county park and lake. The words Holub said he found offensive were, “Ten years of neglect.”
“Apparently (lake superintendent) Steve Hudson got trashed pretty bad,” Holub said. “I’d like to address that.”
Holub listed several projects accomplished at the lake under Hudson’s oversight, including upgrades to docks, repainting the lake hall, adding campsites and electrical service, adding a disc golf course, and putting in new boat ramps.
Holub told Novak she is insulting volunteers who help at the lake as well.
“Frankly, somebody owes somebody an apology, but I’m not holding my breath,” Holub said.
Novak said she’d been talking about neglect of trees and that the county has liability because of their condition.
“I will apologize to you,” Novak told Holub. “I should never have said 10 years of neglect. I should have said 12 years of neglect.”