Port Angeles to hire personnel to operate day ambulance

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Fire Department will be able to hire two new positions that will allow for the addition of a day ambulance four days per week.

The pilot program will hire a firefighter/paramedic and a firefighter/EMT in addition to a shift in two assistant chief positions — one to a deputy chief and the other to a division chief — for the ambulance during peak hours.

The city council unanimously approved the additions as well as the hire of a building inspector as part of the consent agenda Tuesday night at city hall.

The council also approved contracts for tree trimming, electrical conduit boring, cardboard waste disposal and the city’s participation in an opioid settlement agreement.

The additions to the fire department will cost about $305,700, according to city documents. The city currently has an ambulance available for use and would not need additional equipment, the documents said.

The city also expects a reduction in overtime costs across the department since the added positions meet requirements for minimum staffing levels, city documents said.

The building inspector position is expected to cost $103,000 this year.

Funding to pay for the new positions will come from fees for services, including inspection fees passed March 6 for short-term lodging.

The tree trimming contract was awarded to Davey Tree Surgery Company of Livermore, Calif., not to exceed $125,000. The funds will come from the Light Operations budget, and the project will focus on trees growing into or near power lines.

The workers are trained and qualified to trim trees with precision and not to indiscriminately “treetop,” according to city documents. Workers strive to keep trees healthy while ensuring branches are clear of nearby high-voltage lines, the documents said.

The electrical conduit boring project will replace 230 linear feet of electrical distribution line in three city locations. Mavin Utilities, LLC of Toledo, Wash., was the low responsive bidder at $57,346.74.

The utility company will convert the line tie across Golf Course Road between Ruddell Auto Mall and the Plaza from overhead to underground. It also will replace the direct-buried cable under 10th Street near N Street, and it will replace the direct-buried cable that serves the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Mount Angeles Road.

Meanwhile, the cardboard waste disposal contract is a new five-year deal with McKinley Paper Co. that will allow the city to transport its recycled cardboard to the Port Angeles mill on Marine Drive.

The city has been spending about $225,000 annually in transportation costs to a disposal site in Seattle with about three loads per week that average eight tons per load, according to city documents.

Under the contract with McKinley, the mill must use the cardboard for environmentally sound recycling purposes. McKinley will be required to track the weight of the cardboard it receives from the city and provide a monthly report detailing those weights, city documents said.

Separately, the city opted into an national opioid settlement with Janssen and is expecting to receive about $284,000, which is an estimated share of the $61.7 million that will be distributed to counties and cities that opt in before May 11.

As the council approved last August, those funds will be used in support of Operation Shielding Hope: Police and Fire Unit Forces for a Safer Community, administered by the Port Angeles police and fire departments.


Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-417-3531 or by email at brian.mclean@peninsulanews.us.

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