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Bertram council votes to house Burnet EMS in manufactured home rather than build new structure

JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

BERTRAM — The Bertram City Council spent about an hour in a special meeting Aug. 20 weighing costs and time against long-term needs.

In the end, a 4-1 vote for saving money and time led to the purchase of a new manufactured home to house Burnet EMS in Bertram.

Until recently, Burnet EMS has stationed two employees on 24-hour shifts in Bertram. However, the dilapidated structure was abandoned for safety and health concerns. Burnet EMS has only stationed crews for 12-hour shifts in the city with no overnight service.

Mayor Dickie Allen said the current structure has been at 225 East St. since the mid-1990s and is suspected of having mold.

“No tests have been run,” Allen said. “We feel the building is pretty much used up.”

Council purchased a trailer home for almost $30,000 that is said to have a 10-year warranty. Council member Cynthia Anderson, the only no vote, pushed for the council to spend a little more to build a permanent structure. Anderson said the extra money in the short-term would pay better dividends down the road for the city.

“I personally don’t want to see us in a trailer house,” she said. “I’d just as soon spend the rest of the money to get a permanent building and be done with it.”

Council members said purchasing the manufactured home would mean only weeks to have full EMS service returned to Bertram whereas new construction would mean months.

The council voted to spend no more than $35,000 on the total cost of the new manufactured home, and estimated it could be delivered and ready for Burnet EMS in three weeks.

jared@thepicayune.com