CARTHAGE, Ill. -- The Hancock County Board hired a new EMS director Tuesday night.
Gabe Smeltser of Hamilton will take over April 24, as acting director Terry Griffin steps aside. Paramedic Tyler Wilson resigned from the position last month.
"Mr. Smeltser is not a paramedic. He has a business degree," said Hancock County Board Chairman Delbert Kreps. "That's what we wanted. Someone who would run it like a business and get the finances in control."
Smeltser was chosen from a field of 11 candidates by a four-person committee.
"The committee has done an excellent job," Kreps said. "I'm taking their word that he is the best candidate."
The board also obtained a $250,000 line of credit from Marine Bank & Trust for its new ambulance building. The duration of the loan is for one year, but Kreps said it can be renegotiated to extend repayment.
"We paid $312,000 on the building, which depleted the ambulance fund of money," Kreps said. "This keeps the ambulance afloat for another six months or so."
The board also agreed to survey the property to determine if it falls within Carthage city limits.
"If it isn't, we're going to annex it into the city," Kreps said.
By annexing the building, a neighbor will be able to receive an easement for development on an adjacent property, which Kreps said will benefit the county at large.
Pilot Grove Township also got a new road commissioner Tuesday night as the result of a coin flip. Challenger Jerry Green won the coin flip, upsetting incumbent Jim Hastens. Both received 86 votes in the consolidated election two weeks ago.