Batesville Fire Chief not happy with transport fee

Cathy May, Contributing Writer

When Ripley County’s EMS Director Scott Huffman appeared before the Ripley County Commissioners at their December 31 meeting, he was not smiling. “I have four contracts with the county rescue units and only three of them signed. Todd Schutte for Batesville #10 does not want to sign the contract. [Schutte is the Batesville Fire Chief and Batesville Rescue 10 is under the fire department]. Schutte is not happy with the $150.00 flat fee for paramedic transports,” said Huffman.
As Huffman explained it, Schutte wants the county to keep the $35,700 subsidy and doesn’t want to pay the transport fee. “He also wants us to take runs as far away as Oldenburg and Peppertown,” said Huffman.

Rob Reiners, president of the county commissioners, said, “We are not going to have a different contract with Batesville #10 than we do with the rest of the county. We have to have a good relationship with all the squads and thought we did.”

Reiners explained, “The $150.00 charge per run just goes to help against the deficit. The county does not make any money off paramedics. It is a service we were asked to provide. The rescue squads came to us and said they needed help. We helped them and they now all make money.”

Attorney Neil Comer said, “Now that the rescue squads are billing and all in the black, maybe it’s time to look at the county subsidy. If they don’t want it or need it, that $178,500 of taxpayer money could be used for something else.”

Commissioner Reiners asked Huffman to have Schutte come to the next commissioners’ meeting to see if they could work something out.

In other business, Greg Liming asked the commissioners to take over 150' of East Baseline Road. Liming will put a couple of loads of gravel on the road in the spring. The county will take it over one year from today’s date [December 31] if it meets all requirements. This road is in Johnson Township.
The commissioners awarded bids. Roman Nobbe won the concrete bid. The gasoline/diesel bid went to Laughery Valley Ag of Osgood. All bidders were accepted for crushed stone and ready mix - asphalt. There was 30,000 tons laid, rolled over from 2007 for Dave O’Mara. Culverts went to CPI. Both bids for steel bridges were rejected.

Several appointments were made. Maureen Sheets was reappointed as the commissioners’ representative to the Ripley County Area Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The non-legislative appointment to the BZA went to Andy Scholle. Dave Nuerhing will be the BZA alternate.

Also appointed were Kelly Vollet as technology coordinator, Johnnie Lohrum as courthouse maintenance, Ken Hylton as veterans officer, Rebecca Mullins, Jim Lovins and June Keiffer as maintenance, Wayne Peace as EMA director, and Alvin Busching on the Alcoholic Beverage Board. Lawrence Nickell will continue to represent the county on the Jefferson Proving Ground board and Rob Reiners on the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Board.

All three commissioners were in attendance: Robert Reiners, Chuck Folz and Lawrence Nickell. County Attorney Neil Comer and Auditor Mary Ann McCoy were present to advise the commissioners. The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be held on Monday, January 14 at 8:00 a.m. at the commissioners’ room of the Ripley County Annex.