By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
You could almost feel the air being sucked out of the room.
First was Secretary Dixie Bean who submitted a letter saying she was resigning because the Wednesday night meetings interfered with church activities.
Then came the President, Jerry Moore, who said he was resigning as of the end of the meeting.
Vice President Greg Greenwalt said he would stay on until the end of the month, “to tie up some loose ends.”
The Hardy County Emergency Ambulance Authority met on Wednesday, July 24, a week after the Hardy County Commission voted not to impose an emergency ambulance fee on residents. The move effectively eliminated funding for the group charged with overseeing EMS in Hardy County.
The resignations leave Treasurer Tim Ramsey the sole officer of the 15-member board.
“The commission voted not to implement a fee,” Moore told members of the authority. “They withdrew the purchase of the Mathias Baker Rescue Squad. There was a third motion made to do away with the Hardy County Emergency Ambulance Authority, but there were objections from the audience and Mr. Wade (Commissioner A. J.) was very vocal about keeping the Authority.”
The HCEAA was appointed in February to address the issue of emergency ambulance service in Hardy County. Top priority was the continuation of ambulance service on the east side of the county.
The MBRS, which had provided EMS in the Mathias and Baker areas, was basically defunct. Their equipment and building were in foreclosure for lack of payment on the mortgage.
The County Commission gave the HCEAA $250,000 to purchase two ambulances and a chase vehicle and to provide operating capital until the end of the year. The ambulances were leased to the Wardensville Rescue Squad and MBRS volunteers were encouraged to join the Wardensville squad.
The county also, under the Office of Emergency Management, hired a paramedic to serve the county, as needed. Yvonne See was hired and was primarily stationed on the east side. Her contract with the county expires at the end of July.
In June, the County Commission directed the HCEAA to bid on the foreclosed MBRS building at a public auction. The HCEAA had the winning bid of $1.13 million.
The HCEAA prepared and submitted a budget to the Commission, as instructed, which outlined a list of expenses and suggested a revenue stream from a EMS fee. A $10 – $14 fee would be instituted by the County Commission on all residences in the county.
After two contentious public meetings, the County Commission voted not to impose the fee and withdrew their support for the bid on the MBRS building.
As a result of the county’s withdrawal of the bid for the building, the HCEAA cannot apply for an EMS license through the state…