“It’s been a long process,” said Tracy Lambert, director of EMS.
Work started about eight months ago at the building when the board, which oversees the Cleburne County Nursing Home and EMS, agreed to add bedrooms, an exercise room, a new kitchen and a training area. The board had built a building several years ago for that purpose but it had sat unfinished because there was no money for the project.
Last year during an audit, accountants discovered $64,000 that belonged to EMS and the board allocated it to the renovations. In addition, the board allocated another $27,000 toward the project, Lambert said.
The work has run a little over the anticipated budget because of labor costs. The board had thought it would be able to use inmate labor for free, but it was asked to pay the inmates $8 an hour soon after the work started. Those labor costs have added up to $16,000, Lambert said. Material costs are at $66,000, for a total of $82,000.
“Now, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page here to determine what we can finish up,” Lambert said.
If EMS pays for the labor and it doesn’t come out of the money allocated by the board for the renovations, Lambert said, there is enough money to finish. If not, he said, the money won’t stretch that far.
“It gives us a more professional appearance and we’ve done it for a real minimum cost,” Lambert said.
Lambert asked the board if he should finish. The board didn’t take a vote but the members gave him instructions to finish the project and count the labor as a separate expenditure.
Lambert said he would like to have an open house at the building once the renovations are completed to allow local residents to see the new facilities.
In other business the board:
— Approved some job descriptions Lambert submitted so they could be added to EMS policy.
— Approved renewing the board insurance for $8,750.
— Discussed what to do with two buildings the board owns on Brockford Road near the nursing home. One was rented to Sarrell Clinic which has vacated the building and the second is rented to Quality of Life which is soon moving. Board Chairwoman Sandy Weston told the board members they need to decide whether they want to sell the buildings or try to rent them again.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.