Port studies adding EMS support for Quincy Valley

Port of Quincy commissioners Curt Morris, left, and Brian Kuest discuss business matters during a board meeting Nov. 9. Not pictured is Commissioner Patric Connelly.

The Port of Quincy solidified its readiness to financially support emergency medical services in the area with approval of a master agreement to guide the port’s future actions.

The port’s board of commissioners, at its Nov. 9 meeting, engaged in long discussion about what the port can do in the way of supporting Protection-1, which provides EMS in Quincy Valley, how to frame that support and stay within what the port can afford to do.

Leslie Thompson, owner of Protection-1 was in the audience and answered questions from the commissioners.

Commissioner Brian Kuest has been working with Thompson on her company’s financial picture and led the discussion. He described a proposed master agreement and what could be done with subsequent agreements or addenda. He suggested including a “not to exceed” number of dollars in the master agreement, which would set an upper limit on how much the port could spend on emergency medical services.

The discussion focused in on the potential purchase of an additional ambulance.

Kuest asked Thompson how Protection-1 could use a new ambulance and how it would help with revenue. Thompson said one thing it would do is give Protection-1 more opportunities to provide patient transport services, for when a hospital moves a patient a distant facility.

She said the company has been “under water” the past five years, but this year it is doing better. Its financial picture improved at least partly due to the added business it got working on wildfires this year, Thompson said.

A master agreement would set up the port to extend funding in the future, whether for capital or operational expenses.

“The goal is at some point to be self-sustaining,” said Commissioner Curt Morris.

Kuest made a motion for a $250,000 limit and approval of a proposed master agreement “that allows us to move forward.”

He said he wants to see the company’s profitability at year end.

All the commissioners voted in favor.

Commissioners said the plan just approved does not commit money at this point, either for buying an ambulance or for Protection-1 operations. The motion approved is a stepping stone, Kuest said.

The city of Quincy and the Grant County Fire District 3 have agreements with Protection-1 that support the EMS provider financially, officials have said.

Other business discussed during the commissioners’ meeting included the following.

- Commissioners approved a budget for 2023.

- Connie Kuest said in her report on projects for the event center she ordered a new ice bin for the main hall, and the outside lights project is done, including added lighting on one side of the center. She worked with Patrick Boss, who handles public affairs and business development for the Port of Quincy, on getting information for him to use as he carries the port’s request for capital from the state to be used for the event center.

- Gabe Porter, the grounds superintendent at Colockum Ridge Golf Course, said the course has been winterized and plans to get repairs done during winter to the circle irrigation system on the course. He and Commissioner Patric Connelly discussed meeting to look at a fairway mower offered for sale for about $40,000, a piece of equipment of interest for Colockum Ridge.

- Connelly got two grant applications submitted and approved by the Strategic Infrastructure Program committee, but there is one more step: County commissioners have to approve SIP grants. One of the port’s SIP applications is for expansion of the gravel yard at the port’s intermodal facility. The other is for the George water line extension project. Together, the applications requested about $600,000 from the county.

- Boss talked about leads from companies looking for sites in this area and their needs for electricity, natural gas, land, rail and highway access. Some of the companies inquiring about the area may fit on sites within the port district, some may not.

- Morris talked about whether the port should proceed toward buying land owned by Quincy School District, approximately 150 acres bordering State Route 281, just south of Quincy. After discussing possible terms, they voted in favor of proceeding to writing up a purchase and sale agreement draft.