Logistic Problems Plague Bills’ First Mailing
By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
In working to mail the invoices for the $10 per month ambulance fee, the Hardy County Commission has run into a few obstacles.
First, the sheer volume of paperwork required is staggering. There is an estimated 8,000-plus addresses in the county and each one will get an invoice. Invoices, cover letters and hardship exoneration applications must be printed, folded and stuffed into envelopes before being mailed. The postage will cost more than $3,000.
Second, the list the Hardy County Emergency Ambulance Authority and the Commission created seems to be inaccurate. “There are probably 2,900 double entries and we don’t know why,” said County Clerk Gregg Ely.
The discrepancy was discovered when a consultant was asked to help the County Coordinator establish a data base for the mailings. It is unclear whether the county will pay the consultant.
So, rather than 8,000 addresses requiring invoices, there may only be 6,500 – give or take.
“That means we may have less income than we thought,” Greg Greenwalt, president of the HCEAA, told the authority board of directors at their Wednesday, Aug. 28 meeting. “It’s something to consider when the Budget Committee looks at the budget.”
Last, but certainly not least, the County Commission will include a “Hardship Exoneration” form along with the invoice, but they have yet to define what constitutes a hardship.
According to the commissioners at the Aug. 20 meeting, the HCEAA will review the hardship applications, but the County Commission will have the final decision as to whether a hardship exists or not and to grant the exoneration, or not.
“I would like to apply for a hardship exoneration,” said Sara Young, a Hardy County resident who appeared before the HCEAA. “My husband and I have spent a lot of money. We have taken the EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operation Certification) class and become certified. We have started EMT training. I think these should qualify us for a hardship.”
Greenwalt said the HCEAA could not make a recommendation at this time.
“When the forms go out, there will be a hardship application,” he said. “Until we receive that, we cannot make a recommendation. I’m not sure when they will be sent.”
Young said the message from the County Commission was if the ambulance fee is not paid by Sept. 30, it will be considered late and other charges will be assessed…