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New ambulance service in town

Atmore City Council members removed during their November 13 meeting the initial barrier to allowing a new ambulance service to set up shop here and begin operations inside the city and its police jurisdiction.

The council approved a business license request from ASAP EMS-Ambulance, which currently provides emergency and non-emergency medical transport in Clarke and Monroe counties.

ASAP’s Kevin Smith, who briefly addressed the council, said there were a few more hurdles that have to be cleared but promised that the emergency transport company’s lights and sirens would be seen and heard “soon” within the city.

“We’re in the process of growing down this way,” Smith said. “Atmore is a place we’ve looked at, and we’d like to be down here. We would request that we be put on your 911 rotation so we can answer emergency calls here in the city and take care of your citizens.”

Smith said the company would maintain two ambulances outside its headquarters in the Lindbergh Avenue building formerly occupied by Atmore Community Home Care.

Council members also approved a careless driving ordinance under which police will issue citations for minor traffic infractions and the cases will be heard in Atmore Municipal Court. Mayor Jim Staff said there were two immediate benefits to the ordinance.

“We have a new ordinance on careless driving,” said Staff. “It basically gives our city court the authority to … if (police) catch you speeding or something, it will not go on your driving record. It keeps insurance rates down and also keeps everything right here in the city. It’s like a free pass, but it’s not really going to be a free pass. You’ll still have to pay, but it doesn’t affect your insurance.”

In other business, the council:

* Reappointed Ruby Nell White to the Library Board;

* Renewed the city’s line of credit at First National Bank & Trust;

* Issued a proclamation designating Saturday, November 25, as Small Business Saturday.

Two other issues were brought forth near the end of the meeting — the blowing of grass into city streets by lawn maintenance companies and the apparent need for upgrades or repairs to the Christmas lights displayed each year by the city.

Staff promised that city officials would look into both matters.