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Llano County: $1.8M bid for EMS facilities awaits final approval

Llano County Commissioners Court, Jan. 29, 2024

During a special meeting on Jan. 29, the Llano County Commissioners Court approved a $1.8 million bid for the construction of new EMS stations and upgrades to an existing station and tax office. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Llano County is in line for massive upgrades to its emergency services, including a new facility in Kingsland, if a $1.8 million construction contract reaches final approval. The Commissioners Court approved a bid from Lehne Construction on Monday, Jan. 29, to renovate and build EMS stations across the county, bringing the process closer to completion after nearly two years of planning.

The contract will be pitched back to Lehne and then returned to the court for a last look. If final approval is given, Lehne can begin work on new EMS stations in Kingsland and on the Llano County Sheriff’s Office grounds on Texas 16 and an expansion to the current EMS station at MidCoast Central Medical Center in Llano. Extensive upgrades, including a drive-through, are also planned for the satellite tax office at the county’s East Annex in Buchanan Dam.

The new stations will have 24/7 housing for first responders and bays for additional ambulances, providing better coverage of the county.

“The ultimate goal is to have the ambulances placed strategically throughout the county to have response times as low as possible,” Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham told after Monday’s meeting.

Kingsland needs its own EMS station to accommodate rapid growth in the area, Cunningham said. The LCSO station would increase response times on the north side of the Llano River and be a safeguard in case the Roy Inks Bridge were shut down. 

Expansion to the ambulance bays and living quarters at MidCoast Medical Center would boost coverage on the south side of the river.

The current average response time for emergency services in Llano County is 10 minutes and 18 seconds. The average response time in the city of Llano is seven minutes and 24 seconds. These numbers will likely drop once the new EMS stations are in service.

Cunningham said the overall project has been in the works since 2020 when Llano County began contracting with Hamilton EMS, which stationed full-time first responders in the county.

In June 2022, the Commissioners Court approved a contract with Riley Mountain Engineering to oversee extensive construction across the county, including the EMS stations and tax office improvements. The $1.8 million will come from the county’s 2021 tax notes.

If final approval is reached, construction could be finished as early as April 2025.