PARSONS – Tucker County Commissioners voted unanimously to allocate $16,000 in emergency funds toward the purchase of a new ambulance. The decision was prompted by the fact that all but one ambulance was broken down Thursday, forcing emergency personnel to contact other counties for possible assistance with calls.
“We have had five units, we went down to four units,” Ambulance Authority member Kathy Kahler said during Wednesday’s meeting. “We have had various problems with units going down and on Thursday through Friday, we only had one unit working in the county. We alerted other counties and made sure we were covered. We handled the situation, but we need another ambulance.”
Kahler said the group has a request in for a grant to purchase an ambulance, but the need was expedited after the other ambulances quit working.
“We need two ambulances, and are pursuing other avenues for funding,” Kahler said. “We are going to buy an ambulance – this just expedited our plan.”
Kahler said the bid for the ambulance is $80,000 which includes 4-wheel drive.
Also during Wednesday’s meeting, a public hearing on the Tucker County Comprehensive Plan brought no comments from anyone in the audience. Benn Herrick, president of the Tucker County Planning Commission said the comprehensive plan has been updated to include things missed when the plan was first compiled.
“It now includes First Energy and now they are tracking reliability of their commercial electric power,” Herrick said. “This came about as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Other additions are the inclusion of the Cheat River Trail, Region 7 and Tucker County Water Resources. The disaster recovery was updated, as well as Corridor H. The Cultural District was added, and the plan was updated to include the Canaan Valley construction and the annex to the Tucker County Courthouse.”
Commissioners voted to approve the Tucker County Planning Commission Comprehensive Plan.
Terry O’Neal, from Proact, addressed Commissioners, asking for an endorsement to present county residents with a prescription drug discount card program.
“What I do is I administrate the prescription drug discount card program through Proact,” O’Neal said. “What this does is provide cash discounts for residents who are paying full cash price. Typically, these help folks with no insurance or those who are underinsured.”
O’Neal said the plan is endorsed by the West Virginia Association of Counties, however, there are no West Virginia counties currently signed up for the card, but the endorsement was just received in July.
“There is no cost to the county or to those receiving the card,” O’Neal said. “We use a pharmacy network where all the major chains participate. Prescriptions would be discounted if there is no insurance coverage.”
Commissioner Mike Rosenau said the program looks good.
“I would like to see the contract and have our attorney take a look at the contract,” Rosenau said. “My feeling is not to make a decision until we check with other states who participate, since it is brand new to West Virginia.”
Tucker County Commissioners made appointments to boards. Commissioners reappointed David Downs to serve on the Canaan Valley Zoning Board of Appeals for three years; reappointed Larry Armbruster and Terry Gsell to the Tucker County Ambulance Authority. They also voted to change the number of members sitting on the Tucker County Ambulance Authority Board from seven to nine, and actively seek people who would be willing to sit on that board. Members sitting on the Tucker County Development Authority Board were increased from 13 to 15. Joe Drenning was reappointed to the Tucker County Development Authority Board and Joe Thompson was appointed to that board, each for a three-year term.
The next Tucker County Commission meeting is slated for 9 a.m. Sept. 10.