Kathy Kahler, speaking on behalf of the Tucker County Ambulance Authority, presented a plan of action for the improvement of the ambulance services to the county.
This plan includes the closing of Station Two, with all crews transferred to Station Three. No cuts will be made to staffing! The plan further addresses the need to improve response times, balance the budget, employee salaries, on-call and volunteer staffing. More details on the plan will be forthcoming with a possible press release at a later date. Kahler stated that she wanted the commissioners to have the opportunity to study the plan before details were released to the public and that she would be available for any questions. The Authority Board also presented their new “Balanced Budget” to the commission.
Barbara Sauer spoke to the commissioners on behalf of Central West Virginia Aging. She wanted the commissioners and public to be aware of the Senior Employment Program. This program will provide training and pay the wages of persons over the age of 55 on a fixed income who meet the program guidelines.
In other business, Linda Bates gave an update on progress and presented the breakdown of funding needs for Hambleton. Bates stated that the concrete has not yet been poured due to some unforeseen issues. A new electric pole must be set, and a new electric service meter installed also, the gas line had to be replaced. Bates stated that the $12,000 will be used in the following manner: $5,000 will be used for wiring and emergency lighting; $3,500 will go towards a pad and cage for the outdoor electric switches and generator; $4,000 will be for an upstairs fire door, fire escape (outside steps) and door repair. Bates added that she has applied for a grant for $12,000 but will not know the outcome for a few more weeks. The commissioners agreed that it would be premature for them to award any funding until after the results of the grant application are known.
A letter from Davis Mayor Joe Drenning was received recommending the reappointment of Mike Rosenau to the Solid Waste Authority Board for a four year term to begin on July 1, 2014. The commission voted to approve this appointment with Rosenau abstaining.
Emergency 911 director Darla Stemple spoke to the commission regarding a Functional Regional Drought training session. She stated that these sessions provide the opportunity for plans and practices to be created before an actual emergency forces action. For example in the case of no water, it is more feasible for livestock to be taken to the water than for water to be brought to the livestock. Stemple also reported that a grant for radio system upgrades and updates had been approved in the amount of $390,000. She stated that initial planning with all parties has begun.
Commissioner Rosenau asked Stemple to read a letter that the commission had received from the Preston County Commission. This letter commended Tucker County’s dispatchers and 911 personnel for the assistance they provided in manning Preston’s 911 center during the tragic loss of one of their dispatchers. As a result of this assistance, a new plan of cooperation is being developed between the two counties for cross training. This training could be invaluable in case of an emergency.
The commissioners wanted Stemple to let all of the staff and employees of 911 know how much the time spent in training, their dedication and many hours of service, and in general the job they do for Tucker County are appreciated.
Kahler and Bobby Phillips were also commended for their dedication to the Ambulance Authority Board and the job they have done in improving the service to the county. The commission also asked Kahler to convey their deep appreciation for the time given and the job they do for the citizens of Tucker County.
The next County Commission meeting will be on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 9 a.m. in the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom.