County favors Airport Road site for ambulance garage
|Carbon County plans to purchase 5.5 acres on Airport Road just west of Tram Electric for construction of an ambulance garage. While each of the three sites considered for construction had problems, the county commission found the parcel on Airport Road to be the best option available. The county plans to purchase the land at a cost of $2,000,000. The project will be funded with CIB monies totalling $2 million.|
Carbon County commissioners looked at three possible locations for the construction of a new county ambulance garage last Wednesday.
After considering a number of pros and cons with each option at the May 4 meeting, the commission made a decision to build the ambulance garage on Airport Road in Price.
The county plans to purchase the property at a cost of $200,000. The site is located approximately one-quarter of a mile from the intersection of Airport Road and Utah Highway 55.
A variety of factors came into play as commissioners reviewed each of three proposed sites, including radio communication, soil compaction, size of the property, cost, location and access to major roads.
While no property was completely ideal in every aspect, the final property selected met most criteria, and the areas where it is lacking may be solvable.
In addition to the ambulance garage, the initial plans for the project included a centralized communications center and possibly a facility for the Utah Division of Natural Resources.
In order to fulfill the needs for a communications center, the property must have an unobstructed corridor for communication with equipment on Four Mile Hill, south of Price on Utah Highway 10.
The two other options considered were the three and one-half acres at the county road shop on Carbonville Road and the land recently leveled west of U.S. Highway 6 on 100 North in Price.
The plot on 100 North had the advantages of having quick access to major roads and is adequate size.
"That light would change as soon as ambulance tires hit the pavement," pointed out Commissioner Mike Milovich.
However, with the recent leveling, the commissioners were concerned about compaction rates.
The Carbon officials also expressed concern with reported leaking in the canal which runs near the site.
In addition, the site would not have access to radio communications.
The county road shop may be adequate in size, however, some of the property closer to Price River is wetland and there may be environmental concerns with any construction that close to the river.
"It'd be nice to have space to expand, but I'm not sure this is the place," said Commissioner Steve Burge.
Although commissioners were confident that soil compaction on the Airport Road Site would be adequate, the biggest concern presented was that of radio communication. There is a hill south west of the site that blocks the corridor for radio traffic with Four Mile Hill. Milovich explained that initial review of the site suggested that a 60-foot tall radio antenna would be required to get radio traffic the three-and-a-half miles to the radio antennas.
Commissioner Bill Krompel suggested that the county look at a radio repeater that would span the distance, but Milovich and Burge pointed out that a repeater may not be the best option, as the county would need to find a suitable location for the repeater and the costs may be prohibitive.
However, commissioners recognized that the cost of the ambulance garage will be covered by $2,000,000 in CIB money from the state. Construction is estimated to cost between $1.2 and 1.3 million. The purchase price of the property would take that cost to $1.5 million, and there was likely room in the budget for the large radio antenna that would be required.
One advantage that the Airport Road site had over the other three is that it would place the ambulance garage on the opposite end of town from the hospital. Burge suggested that it was a good thing that the county have medical responders in more than one place. He pointed out that in the event of a disaster, the county would be in a better position, especially if the disaster was in the vicinity of one of the medical facilities.
The commission voted unanimously that the county investigate the cost of the required 60-foot antenna and move forward with purchase of the property.