Starke Commissioners Hear Updates on EMS, Highway Departments

EMS Director Paul Mathewson
EMS Director Paul Mathewson
The Starke County Commissioners at their meeting Monday morning heard updates from the EMS and highway departments. EMS Director Paul Mathewson and Mary Lynn Richie approached the commissioners and said their department has been busy, but the overtime issues have been resolved and the department is maintaining hours as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Mathewson said the department will continue to hire people in order to build up their pool of available medics to further cut down on overtime. In addition, Mathewson said the department could expand further by investing in a fourth ambulance rig to be used for transfers. The commissioners told him to check on the feasibility of that idea and report back.

Meanwhile, the highway department has been busy with snow removal and other tasks, as Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners that he has received six bids for bridge design on four bridges to be repaired. He said he would like to pursue a contract with engineering firm Jones Petrie Rafinski to perform the work, a company that has done bridge work previously for the county and typically come in under budget.

A motion was approved for Ritzler to pursue the contract.