Building construction project resumes within a week

IL EMS

Work is set to resume within a week to complete a new station for the Indian Lake EMS Joint Ambulance District, approximately four years after ground was first broken on the project.

Bank financing is complete, a pre-construction meeting between engineers and contractors has been conducted and construction crews are scheduled to begin setting up for construction in the days ahead, the ambulance district board learned Wednesday in a regular meeting.

May 30 is the projected date for completion, board members were told.

The unfinished building at 280 north Oak Street has sat untouched since November 2014.

A haphazard bid process and lack of oversight from former EMS administrators resulted in breaking ground on a building project for which the EMS district hadn’t secured funding and couldn’t pay for.

Among the steps to restart the project, current EMS board members had to officially ratify the original 2014 construction contract, which had not been signed by thenboard members when the project got underway.

Westerheide Construction crews were on site for nearly six weeks in 2014 before work was finally halted.

This time around, biweekly progress meetings will be scheduled to keep all stakeholders updated, according to discussion Wednesday.

It’s going to cost the EMS district about $1.2 million to finish the job. An unsecured loan from Osgood Bank in excess of $1 million has been taken out to finance the construction project.

The board will make semiannual payments in the amount of $153,000 to pay off that loan.

The EMS passed an additional levy for operating expenses last November that drastically stabilized its financial picture. The five-year, three-mills levy generates approximately $886,000 annually in operating revenue.

Retired Logan County Auditor Mike Yoder has been enlisted by the board on a volunteer basis to provide financial consulting services. He affirmed the ambulance district’s financial picture duringa presentation at an Aug. 22 regular meeting.

The next regular meeting is 5 p.m. Sept. 26.