Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

Problems with Cherokee County ambulances are raising funding questions for the Cherokee County Commissioners.

Ron Costlow and Doug Mogle presented new budgets to the commissioners Monday and spoke to commissioners about problems with the current ambulances.

Costlow said one of the ambulances they have is 11 years old. He also said a new ambulance would cost around $150,000 and they did not have the money to purchase new ambulances at this time. Some of the problems for the ambulances include engine and air conditioning issues.

Commissioners told Costlow and Mogle they would speak with each other after Cherokee County Commissioner Jack Garner was back and try to come up with a plan to help with costs for new ambulances.

The Cherokee County Department Heads came together to meet with commissioners.

Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Jason Allison told commissioners the rest of the weather radios have come in and there are five or six people working to have them programmed. Allison said they had expected to be able to start filling the preorders Monday.

Cherokee County 911 Director Wayne Elliott and Baxter Springs Deputy Fire Chief Art Mallory told commissioners there were some additional costs for the new radio bought with the $4,500 grant. Mallory said there was no microphone with the radio, so a new microphone was purchased for $390. A serial cable was also used to run a diagnostics when the radio would not sync with old software, which cost $255.

Cherokee County Health Department Director Betha Elliott said she needed paperwork for grants signed by Garner when he returned. The paper work was originally signed by a different secretary and needed to be resigned.

Elliott also said two of the laptop computers for the WIC program went down. She said one laptop has been replaced, but she needed to get a purchase order for the second laptop so it can be ordered. She said all of the money for the laptop would be coming out of WIC funds.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said since the federal government quit funding the cleanup of meth labs, a bill of $3,800 has been racked up since the end of April.

Groves also said the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department will be allowing a grant for special doors and safety equipment for schools to expire in August. Groves said the only schools to use the grant were in Columbus.

Additionally Groves said he has been receiving calls of debris trucks speeding down Highway 7. Groves said deputies have been on the highway monitoring speeds three different times and the average speed of the trucks is 55.4 miles per hour.

Cherokee County Appraiser Nancy Herrenbruck told commissioners on Friday the state will be taking all of the real estate data for Cherokee County and going through it. She said they will keep the data for a week, tweak whatever needs to be fixed, send it back and then it will be time to use the new software.

Cherokee County Treasurer Juanita Hodgson told commissioners the new employee in the treasurer’s office is working out wonderfully. She also told commissioners she has filled the position in the real estate side of the office.

Additionally Hodgson told commissioners she has been receiving a lot of requests for the date of the next tax sale.

She said Cherokee County Counsel Kevin Cure said the next sale will probably be sometime in late fall.

Cherokee County Maintenance Chief Ralph Houser said work for the elevator in the Cherokee County Courthouse should begin July 25. He also said the month will take approximately two months.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Cherokee County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., July 18 in the Cherokee County Courthouse.