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Property Committee Meeting Minutes – December 5, 2023 (Approved)

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Chairman Commissioner Tracy Wilburn opened the meeting asking Commissioner Matt Rubelsky to offer a prayer and lead the pledge.  The previous minutes of 11 September 2023 Property meeting were moved for approval by Commissioner Joyce Woodard, seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour, and were unanimously approved.  County Executive Graham Stowe thanked all for being present and said that the meeting was to discuss the site selection for the Ambulance Service, after working with OHM to narrow the options.  A handout on the summary of the sites assessed was provided, and he requested they consider a recommendation and motion for the full commission in January.  The Chair asked if there were any public comments and there being none, he asked Ms. Paula Hepp, OHM, to present the information on the sites.


Ms. Hepp discussed the four sites that were first considered, i.e. Industrial Park, airport, rescue squad, and Ag Park.  Preliminary review included existing information, site visits, and other criteria such as soil and utilities.  A chosen representative of EMS, Drew Laxson, encouraged the commissioners to move forward on a selection.  Commissioner Terry Jones mentioned another property that he considered a good opportunity that had just come up to sell.  Ms. Hepp discussed the four sites, providing information on each as pros and cons.  With Commissioners questioning areas such as cost, traffic, more specific information on utilities, Ms. Hepp said those areas were worked more diligently after narrowing the options to two.  Those being, the current rescue squad site and the Ag Park site.  Positives for the rescue squad were the co-location with existing emergency services, is the nearest location to downtown Pulaski (considerable hospital and nursing home connections required), large site, and utilities exist near site boundary.  Concerns were road traffic may impede response to the south, grade work may be required and could interfere with EMS training.  Positives for the Ag Park were access onto Elkton Pike for easy access to Pulaski, site is flat, and utilities do exist along the Elkton Pike.  Concerns were: could interfere with existing convenience center driveways, and site limited due to creek.

The Commissioners voiced the following concerns over the locations.  Commissioner Goolsby questioned the number of factories at each location with OHM saying there were options for traffic flow, e.g. control of traffic lights, and Commissioner Curry discussed the danger of crossing the bypass and the number of accidents at one of the crossovers.  Commissioner Rubelsky questioned the use of items for the planned sewer connection at the Ag Park location with OHM saying the pressure issues would require using the line through the Co-Op property and under the Elkton Pike for a forcemain connection on the east side of the road.  Questions were raised to Ms. Julie Phillips on potentially moving the convenience center located at the Ag Park.  She said it would need TDEC permission and gave an estimated cost of more than $300K to move.  OHM said no consideration on moving the convenience center was made.  That it was more a matter of egress.  Commissioner Terry Jones said given some of the costs involved, the purchase of the forementioned property would be comparable and for the future would provide good opportunities for other county requirements.  OHM said looking at response time requirements from previous data, that the Ag Park was the better choice.  The CE asked was the satellite stations included in the analysis with OHM responding they were incorporated.  Commissioner Gayle Jones asked if the time was determined only by milage, questioning the road conditions, for example. OHM summarized their assessment saying that both sites were good, with the Ag Park being more centrally located; both good for expansion if needed.


Commissioner Rubelsky asked the EMS employees to provide their thinking on which site might be preferable.  EMS Chief of the Ambulance Service Willow Chavez said their consensus was the Ag Park.  Josh Young, Deputy Director of Emergency Management said the intersection near Ag Park is really concerning, however he recommended that the commissioners “not kick the selection down the road”.  Bill Myers, Director of Emergency Management said Drew Laxson had been selected to speak for them, and he had already voiced his concerns about delaying a selection.  A motion by Commissioner Evan Baddour, seconded by Commissioner Annelle Guthrie, to select the Ag Park site for the future ambulance location and send that recommendation to the full commission was made.  Commissioner David Wamble asked if the speed limit could be pushed down to 45 mph a mile away, with Commissioner Erin Curry saying it is a difficult process, the question should be addressed to the state representative.  Commissioner Caleb Savage suggested the placement of the building could be reconsidered so as not to affect the recycling center with OHM saying that would be considered.  The motion was approved unanimously.


With no old business or new business, a motion by Commissioner Joyce Woodard was made to adjourn, and with Commissioner Caleb Savage providing a second, the motion was approved unanimously.


Attendees:  Members of the Committee – Commissioners Chair Tracy Wilburn, Annelle Guthrie, Gayle Jones, Joyce Woodard, Caleb Savage for Mathew Hopkins (absent), Evan Baddour, Shelly Goolsby Other Commissioners – Judy Pruett, Dr. James Lathrop, David Adams, Matt Rubelsky, David Wamble, Roger Reedy, Terry Jones, Erin Curry   Other County Executive Graham Stowe, Bill Myers Director and members of Emergency Management Services,  members of EMS, Paula Hepp and Jason Griffin OHM, Thaddeus Dukes Community Solutions, and members of the public