Confusion over ambulance service


Plans to build a new six-bay building for the Cannon County Emergency Medical Service met with a confusing response from County Commissioners at their Tuesday (Dec. 10) meeting.

"This is a six-bay building," said County Executive Mike Gannon. "We currently have three ambulances in service so this should suffice for many years to come."

Gannon presented a proposal to accept an offer from Stones River Hospital for a one-acre site for the ambulance service building.

"The hospital has offered one acre right behind the cemetery. We need to move on this," Gannon said, adding that Stones River Hospital might also make more property available for purchase.

Commissioner Jim Jones offered opposition to the proposed site on Alexander Road between the hospital and the Cannon County Jail.

"It's not a good intersection due to traffic flow," Jones said, adding that the small Brewer Cemetery there also blocks the vision of drivers trying to pull out on Doolittle Road.

Commissioner Kevin George questioned the plans. If the structure is large enough to accommodate six ambulances, will there be sufficient space to accommodate the crews?

Gannon said the County Commission has already approved the plans to build the new ambulance service building. All that remains is the county paying for the land.

"The grant is approved, contracts have been signed. The issue is paying for the land," Gannon said, adding that he could not disclose the asking price for the acre of land.

"It's a done deal," the county executive said.

"I don't think it is," disagreed Commissioner Jim Bush.

Bush was elected chairman pro-temp during the Commission meeting, replacing the late Bob Stoetzel in the post.
Referring to minutes from previous meetings, Commissioner Tony Neal confirmed that the panel had previously approved plans for the EMS structure with the county's portion of the grant to be paid by the ambulance service.

Commissioner Chuck Holt then moved to pay up to $8,500 for the acre of land. Commissioner Jimmy Mingle seconded.
The resolution then passed with Bush, George and Commissioner Clint Higgins voting no.

In other business, the Commission heard a report from Chairman Mark Barker about the Cannon County Jail receiving state certification once again.

"They know we have an overcrowding problem," Barker said. The state is also expecting Cannon County to do something to resolve the overflow at the jail.

Plans are for representatives from the Tennessee Corrections Institute to meet with the County Commission, representatives from the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney General in January.