By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Monticello’s village board unanimously agreed to a new medical transportation license law on Tuesday.
The law requires non-emergency medical transport vehicles operating in Monticello to have a special license from the village.
Initially, the law called for just two inspections per year of each vehicle, but Yellow Cab owner Alan Kesten pointed out that the village currently inspects taxicabs four times per year.
“Our job is to ensure the safety of the people,” said Deputy Mayor TC Hutchins, who advocated the medical vehicle inspections be increased to four to match that of taxicabs.
Monticello Police Lt. William Van Hage warned that would likely create a need for another mechanic in the village’s employ, but Mayor Gordon Jenkins didn’t mind the idea.
“That’s called creating jobs,” he replied. “... That’s what it’s all about.”
An owner of one of the affected transport companies asked for less inspections per year, but in the end, the board unanimously agreed to require four inspections a year at $25 apiece, plus a $150 registration fee.
The Town of Thompson is considering a similar law, with a public hearing scheduled for February 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall in Monticello.
Tow operators to meet
Later in the meeting, a spirited discussion ensued between the board and the audience about a “preferred tow operator” list that the village will use in responding to accidents.
The rotating list will be limited to around seven companies operating within a 3.75-mile radius of the village’s center.
But the public hearing on Tuesday led Mayor Jenkins to have Deputy Mayor Hutchins meet with the operators to hash out the particulars of the list before it’s adopted.
Hutchins plans to meet with the involved companies next week, after which the board may hold a special meeting to adopt the new procedures.
Upset with paper
In his report to the board Tuesday, Jenkins criticized the Democrat for printing inaccurate information about his relationship with the police dept.
A January 6 opinion column by columnist Bill Liblick offended Jenkins, who said Liblick’s allegation of a move to dissolve the detective division and K-9 unit is false.
He noted in particular that he brought the K-9 unit to Monticello.
“So why would I get rid of the police dogs?” he told the audience.
He took specific offense to Liblick’s reference to “Jenkins and his gang.”
“Why don’t they want to write about the mayor building that building for the police department?” he added, referring to the recently-approved renovation of the municipal complex to double the space for the department. “I think we should be commended! ... We’re fixing up this village pretty nice.”