by Audrey Thomasson
LANCASTER—A request from the Lancaster Emergency Management Services (EMS) department to build a $3 million facility topped the list for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) at last week’s planning commission meeting.
The request accounted for 75% of the $4,191,000 total in requests for fiscal year 2018.
EMS chief Terry McGregor introduced draft plans for an 11,574-square-foot facility to be built on county-owned property at Mary Ball and Pinkardsville roads. It would feature a one-bay garage with a building composed of some 30 rooms, including six sleeping quarters, three full bathrooms, exercise facilities, training room, kitchen and dining areas, radio room, conference room, several offices, a number of storage rooms and an outside patio.
While the plans are still being formulated, McGregor told commission members the facility already has the approval of county supervisors.
After the meeting, board of supervisors chairman and liaison to the planning commission Bill Lee clarified that an EMS facility is still in the planning process and not yet approved.
“We’ve (supervisors) said we’re not going to use the Family Maternity Center,” said Lee.
Under McGregor and EMS liaison supervisor Wally Beauchamp, the EMS Department has grown from five professionals to 35, which includes 20 full-time and 15 part-time. McGregor noted the department is growing at 6% a year and is taking over more service hours from the volunteer squads in Upper Lancaster and Kilmarnock.
While the county only operates one rescue unit, McGregor also requested a second Advanced Life Support Response vehicle for $85,000.
“We’ve had to move the request up one year due to stress from the vehicle being parked outside,” he said.
Commission members Robert Smart and David Chupp both commended McGregor on his presentation.
Planning and land use director Don Gill said the county is asking for its third installment of $500,000 for development of public access to the water; $47,109 for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the County Administration Building; and $38,130 for a compact tractor and loader. The county also is requesting $45,686 to replace accounting system software and hardware.
The Mary Ball Washington Museum requested $28,000 to complete renovations on two museum buildings, the old jail and the clerk’s office.
The Lancaster school division requested a new school bus for $89,000, and a $25,000 match should it receive a school security grant from the state. Operations director John Mann said any new security cameras could easily be transferred to new school facilities when they are built.
In other business, planners voted to recommend supervisors approve zoning ordinance amendments to Article 8—commercial district C-1; Article 8A—commercial limited district C-2, and Article 9—industrial limited district M-1. The proposed changes provide for uniformity in modifications of permitted uses, height regulations and setbacks.