Cass County Board: County offers ambulance building to city of Longville
BOY LAKE--Cass County commissioners voted Tuesday to offer the Longville Ambulance Service building, located at the airport, to the city by quit claim deed transfer for the cost of $1.
BOY LAKE-Cass County commissioners voted Tuesday to offer the Longville Ambulance Service building, located at the airport, to the city by quit claim deed transfer for the cost of $1.
The sale would take place after the new county highway garage at Longville is built in 2018, so an addition for the ambulance service could be included with the new highway building construction project.
Administrator Joshua Stevenson said the Longville City Council approved a similar resolution at a May 17 meeting.
Longville and five surrounding townships, which have all or part of their town served by the ambulance service, built the current building on airport property several years ago when the ambulance service was a volunteer service and city hall also was in the building.
Since then, the county has established a separate taxing district for the ambulance service and contracted with North Memorial Ambulance to provide full-time services with paid staff.
The county assumed building ownership from the city and townships and reimbursed them a depreciated amount during the intervening years.
Also since the building was built, Longville built a new city hall and moved out of a portion of the building, leaving it available to serve as an arrival and departure center for the airport.
Longville has plans to build a new arrival and departure building. Whenever it moves out, it would leave only the ambulance service in the building.
The Federal Aviation Administration has informed the Longville Airport Commission that it then expects the ambulance service to pay market rate rental for having the building, which it considers a non-airport function on airport property.
This could mean the ambulance district would have to pay something comparable to hangar rent at $2,500 per year and could be charged up to $800 to $1,000 per month for office space rental, according to Joshua Stevenson, county administrator.
Cass County is building a new county highway garage at Remer this year with an addition for Remer Ambulance Service. On that project, a stand-alone ambulance garage was estimated to cost about $500,000, versus the highway garage addition, which is costing under $100,000, Stevenson said.
Longville Ambulance District has set aside about $460,000 toward capital improvements such as a new building or new ambulances, Stevenson said.
If the county uses money from that fund to include an ambulance section within the new highway garage building at Longville in 2018, it appears about three-fourths of the fund would still be available to buy new ambulances as needed, he said.
The new highway garage and ambulance building will be constructed with a 50-year life expectancy, he added. Since there is cash on hand, it can be built without any increase in ambulance service rates for the ambulance taxing district, Stevenson said.
Besides the cost-effectiveness of a new building, he noted, the county board has a policy against paying rent from taxpayer dollars.