WASHINGTON CO. COMMISSIONERS APPROVE LAND LEASE AT LAKE SOMERVILLE FOR PLANNED EMS STATION
Washington County has entered into a lease agreement for land intended for use as an EMS paramedic rescue station at Lake Somerville.
Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously this (Tuesday) morning to approve a five-year agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), granting the county permission to build, operate and maintain an EMS station and helipad on 1.5 acres located near Overlook Park Road and LBJ Drive.
EMS Director Kevin Deramus said the impact of an EMS station at the lake would be “tremendous”, greatly speeding up response times to calls at the lake and the northern part of the county.
The land being leased to the county comes from Sherri and Solon Carver, through their own lease with the USACE. Deramus credited them and Lake Manager Russell Meier as key partners for this project. The agreement approved by commissioners only pertains to the land for the EMS station, not the building itself.
Deramus explained that this lease comes at no monetary cost to the county, whose only form of payment needed will be maintaining the property.
Deramus noted that the remote EMS stations in Burton, Chappell Hill and Old Washington were all built using donations, Texas Ambulance Supplemental Payment (TASP) funding or a combination of both.
While Commissioner Joy Fuchs voted in favor of the land lease, she said the county needs to look closely at what source of funding is used to build the EMS station when the time comes. She said she is not against the project altogether, but given the current state of the economy, she wants to make sure infrastructure such as roads are addressed and see how EMS’ new air ambulance agreement with Metro Aviation works out.
Also in court today, commissioners:
- Approved the creation of Washington County Reinvestment Zone #2 requested by Double R Brand Foods, LLC for commercial tax phase-in incentive on an 18.175 acre tract located at 11700 Highway 290 West, just outside of Burton, and designating the property as qualifying for tax phase-in.
- Approved the placement of Farm House Lane, a 0.4 mile road in The Farm Houses of Pleasant Hill subdivision, Section 2 into the one year maintenance period, thus reducing the original bond amount by 50 percent.
Sure wish I could see a map of Washington county showing the following…
1. Population density per square mile
2. Location of every fire emergency
3. Location of every medical emergency
4. Location of every vehicle crash
5. Location of every water emergency
6. Location of every emergency requiring a helicopter
Show this information for the last year, 5 years, 10 years.
It bothers me that the commissioners consistently support Duramus and his actions. He has wasted a substantial amount of money on things he “promised we’re free”. Now, the county tax payers have to fork over all of this money to fund another project he lied about. The focus needs to be shifted to the volunteer fire departments. They give a max amount of $24,000 a year to each fire department and say that it’s to much but will easily waste 2-3 million dollars on a helicopter that never flies.
In the May 7th article, it stated that the commissioners would ‘discuss’ the Somerville EMS proposal. It did not say that they would ‘vote’ on it the same day. It was assumed that after discussion, the taxpayers would have had a chance to ;earn the particulars that came from the discussion. However, the transparency of the meeting was again kept from us until all was ‘said and done’. I guess the vote was deemed “URGENT” !
Putting EMS on the lake Somerville property will provide better access to the north side of the county and hopefully a better outcome for the drowning rates there. My concern is the accessibility during floods however. The county is growing thus increasing the tax payers coming in. Should balance out.
If your kid was drowning at the lake you’d be glad it was there! This could save lives! That 15 minute drive is life or death in many cases.
THERE IS ALREADY A RESCUE BOAT LESS THAN A MILE FROM THIS PROPOSED LOCATION! Mr Duramus and the county commissioner Hanath refuse to dispatch them.
My thoughts exactly.
The vast majority of drownings that happen at Lake Somerville, happen at Welch Park which is in Burleson County and not even in Washington County EMS jurisdiction. This is just another example of the commissioners giving the EMS director WHATEVER he wants. I hope all my fellow taxpayers remember these things come election time.
Good grief, it’s just a long line of not well thought out decisions. Can’t even wait between the next. Not a day goes by your drawing up a contract. You know it to. And what it comes to is Your committee doesn’t care what people think. Back to your wants. None of you are the same people we elected.
The commissioners just can’t say no to this guy for whatever he wants whatever the cost, but we can when elections time comes.
Need to put a cap EMS spending in this county Commissioners. You should focus on fixing Roads and bridges and making sure the sheriff has adequate funds to protect us. Stop digging in our pockets with items that are just not affordable at this time. Ms Fuchs you are a treasure and will be missed. We can save a lot of money getting rid of needless expenditures in that one Dept. in Supervision alone. Hint
What’s next? New ambulance and new emergency employees to man this? Who is going to pay for all this?
Here we go again!!! This is insane people. This guy gets whatever he wants.
There could likely be a need for new EMS rescue watercraft and crew for the Somerville reservoir along with helicopter crew. Air, Land and Sea- Washington County will be ready with a top notch EMS.
I think these Commissioners should pay for it with their own personal money. Maybe then they will say no. Yes let’s vote these jokers out of office. Time they all go, including the EMS director.