Hospital district approves new Presidio office, discusses ambulance issues

ALPINE – Big Bend Regional Hospital District directors agreed to sell its now-vacant building in Marfa and to move its Presidio office to another location at a recent meeting. A long discussion over ambulance maintenance in Presidio will continue into the May meeting.

New Board Member Buddy Cavness brought up the maintenance issue last month, saying he was concerned with reported unusually high fuel and tire usage on the Presidio ambulances, the newest of which was financed by the hospital district.

He said fuel usage on the ambulances has indicated less than two miles per gallon and tires perhaps are replaced with less than 10,000 miles on them.

New EMS Director Malynda Richardson said she was new in the job and was still investigating the questions but promised to have figures when the board meets again May 23. She said the reported cost of fuel at $6,656 in June “does not compute.”

That could mean the May figures were included in the total but that may not be enough to answer the question.

She said some of the fuel usage also could be because ambulances frequently have to idle for long periods of time, which brought up another issue. Sometimes, idling for long periods causes heating and other problems.

Cavness told her about a device called an “idle-up switch” that could solve that problem by idling at a faster speed, providing more cooling from the radiator fan.

He said he also heard the district had used nine sets of tires in a short period. Asked where he heard that, Cavness said he wished he knew.

Richardson said she will have updated figures for the next meeting.

Cavness is Alpine operations manager for WTG Fuels and said if the numbers are true, they are concerning.

The district approved the sale of the old district office at 106 East Texas Street in Marfa, which has been on the market for nearly a year. Several calls for bids resulted in offers far below what the district had hoped to get for the building so it contracted with Alpine Realtor Carol Morrow in September to seek more bids.

In March, the board opened two bids and Kirk Hopper of Dallas bid $285,000 while Three Bandidos Ventures

Voices From Both Sides is a program of the Big Bend Citizens Alliance (BBCA), an IRS 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. The mission is to enhance collaboration between artist from both sides of our border by setting up regional and international events. They believe that with greater communication and involvement along the border that they will help improve the quality of life for citizens in the Big Bend region. The ultimate goal is to open the border at Lajitas.

This project that started as an idea for a CD has grown into what they like to call a Fiesta Protesta, which is a peaceful fiesta across the river with the intent of drawing awareness to the disconnect that has happened in the community the past 12 years.

Haislip added that the Border Patrol fully support Voices From Both Sides and their efforts. They asked those who attend to have a fun and safe Fiesta.

For more information on this year’s Voices From Both Sides, visit .

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