Commission fields questions about ambulance garage
The county ambulance garage is falling apart and Carbon commissioners plan to construct a new building to for the emergency service.
The windows in the present facility leak, the roof is failing and the walls have cracks plugged with various materials.
"It's in pretty bad shape," pointed out Commissioner Mike Milovich. Milovich has been spearheading the construction of a new building to not only house the emergency transport services for the county, but also the communications system's vehicles and facilities.
In the quest to build a new structure, the county was able to secure Utah Community Impact Board money for the project. And at the urging of Price officials, the commissioners decided to consider several sites within the city limits that would allow ready access to serve all Carbon County residents.
"We had some ground we could have planned to build it on outside the city limits. But Price asked us to look at a site that could serve its population quickly," explained Milovich. "We looked at a few pieces of ground around town, but this piece seemed to fit the bill the best."
The proposed ambulance garage site is located at approximately 150 North and 100 West behind Gas N' Go in Price. The property, while zoned commercial, is located within a residential area.
The zoning at the proposed location resulted in a Tuesday neighborhood meeting. Several concerns raised by the Price residents were presented to Carbon commissioners at county government's regular meeting last Wednesday.
"We had 29 people at the neighborhood meeting and they primarily wanted to know where the county was headed with the garage," said Jeanne McEvoy, a resident who has property north of the proposed site. "Our neighborhood had no one stand on the issue, but we came here just to look for discussion on the matter to answer some of our concerns."
The list of the residents' concerns was presented in four categories to the county commissioners by Paul Brown, who lives in the northeast Price neighborhood.
The four categories included cooperation, safety, practicality and appearance.
"I live right across the street from where it will be built," said Brown. "And I have come here in the spirit of cooperation, just representing the views of those 29 people."
Brown pointed out that in the beginning most neighbors were totally in favor of the project because the vacant field where the garage is to be built is full of weeds. But he voiced trepidation about a feeling by some people that information about the project may have been withheld.
"This has been done totally above board," responded Milovich. "There has been no attempt to keep information from anyone."
Commissioner Bill Krompel pointed out that the commission had not seen any proposals for alternate sites and said that if anyone could come up with something superior to what they already had in place the commission would consider it.
After a short discussion, Brown then launched into the list he had given the commissioners. In terms of safety the citizens at the meeting were concerned about children who play in the area, how far back the facility will be set from the sidewalk, the visibility to the north for those coming out of the bays of the garage and how second responders (those that show up after the initial crews may have gone out to back them up in another unit) would approach the garage when they show up in an emergency. He also mentioned that residents believe that a stop light should be put in at the intersection of 100 North and 100 West.
Milovich told Brown that Price City has applied with the Utah Department of Transportation for a semaphore at the intersection but that in the short term remote stop signs might be put in to temporarily solve the situation.
"There is also a misunderstanding out there that ambulance crews shoot out of the bays like a rocket," he said. "First of all they are very careful when they pull out and secondly those units are extremely heavy and can't take off like that."
As for the set back and visibility, Milovich explained that as of yet they don't know about those things because all they have of the building is some line drawings.
"We only hired the architect a few weeks ago and everything is still preliminary," he said. "The survey is done and the land is staked out, but other than that we aren't very far along yet."
Milovich also told Brown that any second responders would have to follow the rules of the road like anyone else in responding.
Brown then pointed to the second set of questions residents have. They included the size of the building, what would happen if there was a need for expansion of the facility, how parking would be handled, if the lights would be on all night, where the emergency power generator for the facility would be located and what the effect on property values would be.
The commission responded by explaining that the site had been approved by the Price Zoning Commission and that the building was the proper size for the site.
"We couldn't expand unless we had more land," said Milovich.
As for parking the biggest amount of cars would only come on training days, when those in the classes would have to park some of their vehicles on the street.
As for lighting and power generation, the commission said they had already talked with the architect about that.
"We are going to have lights that shine on the ground and not into the neighborhoods," stated Milovich. "Much like the new ambulance facility they built in Moab. As for the generator, it would come on only during power outages and will be located either in the building or in an enclosed penthouse on the roof of it."
As for property values Milovich told Brown he couldn't predict that but he expected the facility would increase values because it would replace the empty weed filled field with an attractive building.
That brought Brown to the list that had to do with appearances. Residents were concerned about antennas and towers that might be on the building because of it's communications function as well as the equipment storage that might need to take place there. He said many also wondered what the building would look like and what kind of landscaping it would have.
"First of all it will be an attractive building, certainly better than the views across the field they have now," said Milovich referring to some of the commercial development in the area. "All antennas will be on the top and at the back side of the building."
Commissioner also pointed out that since the building is just in it's development stages right now the way the building will look is up for grabs and that they are open to suggestions from the community. It was also pointed out that the landscaping will probably be done in a xeriscaping format to save water and cut down on maintenance.
"It think it is important to point out that when we get a design in place we will have a public meeting where residents can come and look at the plans and give us input into what they would like to see there," explained Milovich. "The entire project will cost between a million and a million and a half dollars and we hope to move into it sometime in June or July of next year. However as of now we are not sure when construction will start."