During the March 21 Pocahontas County Commission Meeting, Commissioner John Rebinski announced that the new county ambulance service, which he said will be formally called the “Pocahontas County Ambulance EMS,” is scheduled to be inspected by the state in the second week of April. He said if it passes that inspection, it will be able to start providing service in the northern end of the county, maybe as soon as April 10 or 17. Rebinski said the service will be known as Station 12.
Rebinski also said he is considering two medics who have shown an interest in being part-time members of the new service. One of these medics is from Lewisburg, and the other one is from the Panhandle. According to Rebinski, the new ambulance service will begin by using a fully equipped ambulance loaned to them by the Cass Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, and the county will provide the insurance for that vehicle for as long as they use it. He said he is already looking at possibly purchasing used ambulances for the new service down the road.
In other matters:
Beth Little announced that the Hillsboro Library Friends will hold an Earth Day Program Saturday, April 22, starting with a reception in the library at 5 p.m. followed at 6 p.m. by an open forum on community preparedness and disaster management in the county. This forum will be facilitated by Michael M. Barrick, an author and Disaster Response Expert.
The commission also voted to approve the long-term agreement with the Pocahontas County Saddle Club to allow it to use, and make improvements on the field next to the ARC building. Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton said the rodeos that the Saddle Club has been running on that site have been successful and are an economic benefit to the town.
The commission also voted to open a checking account for the old Board of Education Building Demolition Project, at the request of Donna Ward of Region 4. She also asked the commission to approve the environmental report for the PMH Roof and HVAC Project, which they did. Ward said that once that report has been discussed at a public meeting and published in The Pocahontas Times, the project will be ready to start.
The commission approved the 2021 Emergency Management Performance Grant. Emergency Management Director Michael O’Brien told them the grant will reimburse the county’s general fund for one-half the cost of the salaries of the county Emergency Management employees. He said the county received about $31,000 from the grant the previous year, and there are no restrictions on how the commission can use that money.
In addition the commission:
• approved the annual inspection agreement with SecuriTech for the courthouse fire alarm system.
• increased the part-time hours for Kevin Stitzinger of the Emergency Management Office by allowing him to work an additional 200 hours until the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2023.
• approved the county’s annual budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.