Town planners OK new EMS station

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

CHAPEL HILL -- A Shelbyville contractor may now get a building permit to construct the long-planned ambulance station here because the town's Planning Commission approved site plans on Monday.

"We worked with the county on this," Mayor Carl Cooper said while leading commission discussion. "Mary Ann Neill (a county commissioner representing an area to be served by the station) told us of every move.

"Let's have a motion to approve," Cooper told planning commissioners who approved site plans by the county's consulting engineer, Richard Williams of Franklin. Site plan approval is a last step toward getting a building permit.

Alderwoman Marion Joyce seconded Commissioner Earl Harris' motion and the vote was unanimous as Neill, who also serves as chairwoman of the county commission.

"We thank you for your financial backing," Neill said that night.

One week earlier, knowing the town is providing $125,000 and utility concessions, Marshall County commissioners voted 15-2 with one commissioner abstaining, to approve a construction contract with Shelbyville-based contractor J.R. Warren for nearly $298,000.

Warren emerged from competitive bidding and a round of negotiations for the contract. Original bids were up to nearly $500,000. Warren's price was cut by more than $100,000 by switching a metal roof to shingles, foregoing plans for an emergency generator as well as other electrical and floor plan changes.

Ambulances and crews for the Emergency Medical Services of Marshall County have been housed in a building across Horton Highway from Chapel Hill's Fire Hall and Police Station for years. That building is owned by the Chapel Hill Lions Club.

"They've been carrying the program over here," the mayor said of the service club that's a pivotal player for various civic activities in Chapel Hill.

As for what will become of the Lions' building, Cooper said, "That will all unfold when they get the new building open."

The new building is to be built on property donated to the town by Howard and Sally Wall who, for years, have been real estate developers and Realtors in neighboring Rutherford County. The Murfreesboro residents own a second home in Chapel Hill and Wall has presented the town with plans for development of other land near Chapel Hill Elementary School.

The new ambulance station is to be built on land northwest of the intersection of Horton Highway and Rocketeer Boulevard.