Washington County Commissioners have approved the building of a new hangar at the Washington Volunteer Fire Department to house the county’s EMS helicopter.
Commissioners at their meeting this (Tuesday) morning approved a lease-to-own agreement with the fire department to build the hangar, which will be built to the specifications of REACH Air Medical Services. REACH will pay the county back in lease payments for county expenses.
The agreement accounts for a 12-month term, with monthly rent of $13,750 paid to the fire department. EMS Director Kevin Deramus said the county will own the facility after the lease is paid off, which could be in less than a year.
Deramus said once the lease is paid off, it will become a source of revenue for the county.
Deramus said the county had considered building a hangar at the Brenham Municipal Airport, but ultimately determined it made more sense operationally and financially to, instead of leasing a facility at the airport, own one elsewhere.
Deramus noted that transport time is unaffected by the helicopter being located at the fire station versus the airport, saying it takes longer for the helicopter to lift off than it does to reach its destination.
The hangar will eventually house crew quarters, but for now the EMS Aviation Department will continue to stay inside their current quarters at the fire station. The hangar will not be leased until it is completed, with Deramus saying previously that the building should be complete for aircraft storage and maintenance near the end of the month. He said the crew will move into the facility “at some point in 2021.”
Commissioners praised the county’s relationship with its local volunteer fire departments, and thanked the Washington Volunteer Fire Department for its assistance in this matter.
Also at today’s meeting, commissioners approved:
- An agreement between the county and Kenneth and Patricia Mosley. The agreement is in reference to a tree that had fallen from county property onto a constituent’s property, located at Lot 17 Wood Creek Road in Brenham. Commissioner Don Koester said it is the county’s obligation to take the tree off the property, so the agreement gives the county access to the private property in order to remove the downed tree.
- Approval of the Washington County Courthouse Round XI Planning Grant Funding Agreement. Commissioner Joy Fuchs said the agreement is part of the paperwork process to secure grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to perform restoration work for the courthouse.
- A resolution for the 2021 Washington County Indigent Defense Grant Program. Washington County Auditor Sharon Stolz said last year’s grant expenditure report showed the county expended $469,359 for the program and received $45,229 back, around 10 percent.
- Formal notice for utility installation by PGMS – Central Washington County Water Supply for a two-inch road bore to repair a one-foot water line at 3300 Spanish Oaks Drive in Precinct Three.
- A subdivision variance request for a land division fronting FM 2447 and FM 1155 in Chappell Hill in Precinct Two.
- A proclamation declaring October 29th as Think Pink Thursday in Washington County.