Ambulance service to get new home
by RANDY OLSON
The long-awaited move from the Sauk Centre Ambulance department’s temporary location on Fourth Street North to a new home will take place after the city council authorized purchase of the former ER Auto Clinic building.
The “temporary” location has housed the Ambulance department since 1994.
Located at 1300 Timberlane Drive, the ER Auto Clinic building will be purchased for $270,000, a price negotiated between the city and its owner, Central Minnesota Credit Union. The action comes on the heels of the council’s direction to city staff to negotiate for an agreed-upon price based on parameters set in closed session on April 16.
City administrator Vicki Willer outlined the proposed funding plan, starting with the use of current Ambulance department funds of $100,000. The council unanimously approved both the purchase of the building and its financing.
“The city will also grant the Ambulance department an inter-fund loan of $170,000. It includes two percent interest with the principal and interest paid back in five annual payments of $36,066.93,” said Willer.
The loan agreement will be drafted to meet auditing standards similar to terms for an unsecured bank loan.
Ambulance department directors have also developed a budget for upgrades to the new location in the amount of $46,000. It includes $500 for painting, $5,000 for flooring, $3,500 for plumbing items, $33,500 for the parking lot, $2,000 for furniture and $500 for signage.
Willer added that the Ambulance department currently generates a balance of about $80,000 a year.
A payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement will also be drafted to cover the roughly $2,400 a year in property taxes the city technically would not receive since a city department is obtaining the property.
Mayor Brad Kirckof commented, “I want to thank the ambulance staff for their research and time put into studying this property. Moving to this location presents great opportunities. Now we have to get the facility ready. It will take a lot of elbow grease.”