Union County's contract with Spirit Medical Transport of Greenville, Ohio for emergency medical services is set to expire at the end of the year and commissioners are reviewing details and requirements of the contract before asking for bids.

Auditor Cheryl Begley had prepared a bid sheet based on what the county has done in the past, requesting similar services and asking for pricing on one, two- and three-year contracts. Commissioners on June 19 voiced interest in trying to get a long-term contract and discussed taking the one-year option off of the table.

Commissioner Howard Curry asked about the services requested in the contract. Begley replied the contract requires the same services as what is currently provided through Spirit unless anyone suggests changes. Curry stated he did not have any changes but had heard some local firefighters may have.

Commission president Paul Wiwi stated he has been pleased with the response times provided by Spirit. As the current contract does not expire until the end of the year, the county is in a good position to reevaluate its needs. Wiwi suggested bringing the chiefs of the Liberty and College Corner fire departments into the discussion to see what input they have, as they often serve as first responders and work alongside Spirit's crews.

Discussion returned to the contract term. Commissioners were generally in agreement they were not interested in pursuing a one-year contract but decided to leave it in the bid. As all three were leaning toward a longer term, it was decided to add pricing for a three-year contract with an option to extend the term for two more years, if both parties consent; this would offer the county up to five years of service at a set fee.

Commissioners will continue the discussion at their next meeting. In the interim, Wiwi will contact Chief Donnie Jackson at the College Corner Fire Department and commissioner Tim Williams will contact Liberty Chief Jim Barnhizer for input.

Also discussed:

The elevator in the courthouse needs repairs since two buttons on the control panel are not functioning. American Elevator, Inc. of Cincinnati gave a quote of $3,288 to repair the control panel and perform the annual inspection. However, the annual inspection had already been performed by a different contractor, just two weeks before American quoted the repair and had not yet been processed by the state. Commissioners agreed to ask American to requote the repair without the safety inspection.

The county's health insurance contract is up for renewal soon; Begley asked commissioners if they wanted to get quotes from other vendors.

“I would like to have an opportunity for local businesses to at least bid on it,” Curry replied.

Williams and Wiwi agreed, so Begley will work on initiating the bid process.

Alvin Day of the Union County Health Department reported to the commissioners COVID-19 antibody testing was set to begin June 23 and will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment. UC residents can call 765-458-5393 to make an appointment.

Day told commissioners he is trying to get a truck for the UCHD, specifically a three-quarter ton truck to be able to pull the department's trailers. Williams notified Day the county recently transferred a truck to the Emergency Management Agency with the stipulation it is available to other county departments when needed. The EMA truck can pull the UCHD's smaller trailers but not the largest.

Curry asked Day how much use the UCHD would get out of such a vehicle. Day replied it would be used a lot and he would use the vehicle to travel to meetings as well. Curry pushed back, questioning the fiscal responsibility of driving such a large vehicle to meetings. Wiwi agreed.