Blackville Mayor Mike Beasley said his town's finances are "on target" during a regular council meeting held April 21.
"Our money is tight until we get our tax money in, but we are financially on target with our budget," he said.
That good news was followed by a report that a number of projects funded by grants have "gone out to bid" with bid openings on June 15.
Following the "good news" trend of the meeting, Beasley also named Subway restaurant in Blackville as "Business of the Month" in the community.
The council then approved two resolutions - one to designate the second full week in May as Women's Lung Health Week and the other to designate April as Fair Housing Month. Both were approved unanimously.
Recreation Director Jessie Dukes reported to the council that "all is going well with T-ball and baseball." He said 96 youth were participating.
Dukes thanked the council and town for its support of the recreation effort.
Mayor Beasley also reported that the recent "Taste of Blackville" festival was "a great success" and "sets the stage for the Music and Arts Festival on May 16 and 17."
All this was followed by an upbeat presentation by Southern Palmetto Hospital CEO Mary Valliant. Valliant outlined the reasons she chose Medshore to replace the Williston Rescue Squad as the provider of emergency medical services in Barnwell County.
She said she had worried about the contract with Williston Rescue Squad and had already reviewed 19 ambulance services before tentatively deciding upon Medshore. When WRS suddenly announced they would be ending services, she contacted Medshore.
"I wanted the best to provide for the needs of the county," she said, "and a company that would work closely with the hospital."
She said Medshore will be centered at the hospital with ambulances dispatched from there and area substations in the county. "The one thing I really loved is that they will communicate directly with our physicians. Our staff will have input before the patients arrive." Previously, emergency room physicians did not have direct communication with the ambulances arriving with patients.
She said the company had only one month's notice they were "coming on board with us" but accomplished a lot in that time period to make a smooth transition.
Valiant said the new company "pretty much offered jobs to the former Williston Rescue Squad employees" who knew the area and the people.
She said the ambulances will have advanced cardio life support (ACLS) as well as pediatric advanced life (PALS) support equipment on board.
She expects monthly reports on response times, outcomes and a variety of data which will help the hospital and ambulance service make adjustments to work better together.
Other improvements at the hospital, Valliant said, include the opening of a psychiatric unit and a substance abuse unit. "These are well-needed in this county," she concluded.
At the end of the meeting the council took time to congratulate David Purtell, a staff writer with The People-Sentinel who left this week to hike the Appalachian Trail all summer.
They all wished him well on his "adventure" and thanked him for the coverage he had provided while at The People-Sentinel.
After the meeting was adjourned, the council treated Purtell and meeting attendees to light refreshments.
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