The Jackson County Commissioners heard from Sneads City Manager Connie Butts, Sneads Town Council member Greg Lewis, and Chief of Police Burt McAlpin in reference to last week’s decision by the Commissioners to look into a new location for the ambulance service presently located in Sneads.
All three representatives from Sneads cited two public schools and two prisons as being reason enough to keep the ambulance in Sneads. Butts said all repairs are made to the building where the ambulance is housed as they are made aware of them. She said the city pays anywhere from $250 to $750 per year for materials needed to make the necessary repairs. The County presently pays Sneads $250 a month rent. The town pays for the electricity with an average bill of $298.18 per month over the last 36 months, and provides free water and sewer. Sneads also pays Comcast $65 per month for cable and business voice. They presented the commissioners a petition with 156 signatures opposing the move.
Commission Chairman Eric Hill then addressed the standing room only crowd. Hill said, “Let me explain where I was coming from. I want to explain where everyone knows where my ideology was coming from. Firsts of all, I represent from the River of Apalachicola to the Bay and Calhoun County line. I am going to focus on the east side. I don’t do anything in business or private or personally and I know there have been rumors and some of the articles in the paper were misleading but I had the sheriff’s department run some numbers.” Hill went on to say that last year in Sneads the Jackson County ambulance answered 377 calls in Sneads. In their area for the Sneads ambulance they answered 1271 calls. Hill acknowledged that I-10 access was greater for the ambulance in Sneads but his concern was for those who lived 15 to 20 minutes away from the range of ambulance service in Sneads. He said in researching he felt moving the ambulance further west of Sneads would benefit those citizens. The commission voted 5-0 on a motion by Jim Peacock with a second by Chuck Lockey to rescind last week’s motion and leave to locate another location for the ambulance presently located in Sneads and to leave it where it is presently located.
Butts, Lewis, and McAlpin all thanked the Commissioners for their time and their reversal of their decision.