Soil test required at Tustin EMS site

September 19, 2014

By Rosemary Horvath

Osceola County Commissioners moved closer Wednesday to settling on village-owned property in Tustin as site for an emergency medical services base serving the northwest quadrant.

That is, until a new wrinkle in the plan surfaced and delayed full acceptance until the Oct 7 board meeting.
Commissioners unanimously supported buying 0.83 up to one acre and paying the village $4,000. This was one of three options, including the original two acres for $8000 the board had considered.

The parcel, located between the Community Center and the Fire Department, has 127.39 foot wide road frontage and depth of approximately 283 feet.

Commissioners Alan Tiedt’s motion was seconded by Commissioner Roger Elkins.

Tiedt amended his original motion to include up to one acre after the county building official pointed out required acreage for well and drain field.

“We had quite a bit of discussion,” reported Commissioner Tammy Stoner after the meeting.

She said EMS Director Jeremy Beebe checked with the health department during the meeting and learned even though the 0.83-acre parcel would be sufficient for a well, more land may be required because the Tustin Fire Department has above ground field tanks for its septic system.

This would require a new building and well to be 300 to 800 feet away from the tanks, Stoner said.

Soil bearings determine the exact distance necessary. Commissioners won’t know the results until the next meeting.
Soil tests could uncover a bigger issue, Stoner noted, such as groundwater contamination from the field tanks.
“If there is contamination from the field tanks then the full two acres won’t be sufficient,” Stoner surmised.
Depth of the two-acre parcel is only 680 feet, which falls short if the health department requires 800 feet, she said.

Board Chairman Larry Emig got the ball rolling after the last board meeting by contacting the village of Tustin for a final offer. Contacted Thursday, Emig said the 0.83 parcel has been surveyed but another survey will be needed if more land is required.

“We are in a holding pattern again until we get it all resolved,” Emig said.

A worst case scenario is if the Tustin site turns out to be inadequate and causing further consideration of sites although Emig doesn’t anticipate “a show stopper,” he said.

The county has been offered vacant land on 18 Mile for the EMS base.

Township boards of Rose Lake and LeRoy have pressured county commissioners to choose the 18 Mile parcel over Tustin.

However, the Rose Lake Township Board of Trustees voted 4 to 1 against contributing $5000 toward the project.
Supervisor Roy Kissinger said even though trustees prefer the 18 Mile site because of close proximity to schools and a wider population “it appeared the site was going to be Tustin no matter what we thought.”

Kissinger added that the townships fought a long time for an EMS base to be built in the northwest “so anything is better than nothing at all.”

At the same time, LeRoy Township Trustees have voted to contribute $5000 but only if the base is built on 18 Mile, said Trustee Anja Wing.

“We are not going to participate if the base is put in Tustin. We thought we’d make the offer in good faith,” Wing said when contacted by phone.

Among other business Wednesday, commissioners:
*APPROVED paying for flu shots at Rite Aid for any county employee without insurance coverage.

*APPROVED buying 62 sets of walking sticks at $89.95 each with a health grant awarded to Commission on Aging.

*APPROVED closing the County Courthouse and Annex Building noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 12 for employees to have a Christmas luncheon.

*APPROVED allowing employees to swap the Columbus Day holiday for Dec. 26, the Friday after Christmas, for 2014 only.

*RENEWED several contracts with Area Agency on Aging, Community Corrections, County Child Care and State Disaster Contingency Fund.

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