By RANDY GONZALES
Ellis County commissioners, who approved sending out bids for the purchase of two new ambulances at last week's meeting, revisited the subject at Monday's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.
Chairwoman Barbara Wasinger asked Ellis County EMS Director Kerry McCue to make the bid specifications shorter than the current 75 pages. The other two commissioners were in agreement with Wasinger's request.
"It's out of control," Wasinger told McCue. "What I would like to see you do is take a basic ambulance and tell me what you want to add to it, how much it's going to cost, so we can make those decisions based on fiscal reality. That's what I would like to see."
McCue said the bid specifications need to be detailed to ensure quality.
"You have to get into minutiae, or you're not going to get what you want," McCue said.
Wasinger wanted to look at the big picture, and not get bogged down in details. That was for McCue and the vendor to iron out, she said.
"I don't need to see those little, tiny specs," she said. "I need to know what the big things are."
Commissioner Swede Holmgren said he wanted just a synopsis of what the bid entailed.
"That's all I need, OK?" he said.
McCue also discussed with the commissioners the possibility of purchasing a new truck and retrofitting an existing ambulance box to the new truck. That could be a cost savings of at least $50,000, McCue estimated.
In other business:
* Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution praising the Ellis County Rural Fire Department and support personnel in fighting a rash of fires in recent weeks.
* Commissioners heard the county Extension office's monthly report.
* Commissioners approved a motion to close out the KANSTEP grant process for Rural Water District 1C.
* Commissioners approved a motion to accept a bid from Hi-Plains Sand Inc., Kanopolis, for mixing approximately 6,000 to 8,000 tons of cold mix asphalt material for use in the 2014 asphalt program at a cost of $8.85 per ton.
* Commissioners approved a motion for an agreement to upgrade a railroad crossing on 160th Avenue to include lights and a crossing bar. The project will be paid entirely with a federal grant.
* Commissioners approved a motion to reject a change order request from APAC for a construction project on Old U.S. Highway 40 in the eastern part of the county. County staff recommended rejecting the request to replace the type of aggregate used in the base lift for the project in the specifications with local rock.
* Commissioners approved an addition not to exceed $28,850 to the project on Old U.S. Highway 40 to replace the apron and abutment seat on the east side of the bridge near Victoria.
* Ellis County Treasurer Ann Pfeifer informed commissioners her department is taking applications for a special collector's position.
* Commissioners went into executive session for 15 minutes with Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund and County Counselor Bill Jeter to discuss attorney/client privilege and to discuss non-elected personnel issues regarding union negotiations. No action was taken.