At the May 2 Pocahontas County Commission meeting, Com- missioner John Rebinski provided an update on the new county EMS Ambulance organization. He said the county ambulance service recently passed all its required state inspections, which were one of the last obstacles before they can actually begin providing ambulance response.
The very last obstacle is an approval letter from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which will authorize their medics to stock the ambulance with and use controlled life-saving or pain- relieving drugs when they respond to an emergency medical call. Rebinski said he cannot predict when the DEA will provide this written authorization, but hopes it will be soon.
In addition, at this meeting, the commission approved its revised agreement with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the county to lease the campground at the Handley Wildlife Management Area. The commission previously approved a copy of the agreement sent to them by the DNR, however that copy did not include the required statement that it had been approved by the State Attorney General, so at this meeting, the commission needed to approve the revised agreement.
Commission President Walt Helmick explained the improvements already done to the county’s part of the Handley property, as well as some planned future improvements. He said they have improved and installed site numbers to the 15 original RV campsites and improved the road into and around those sites; they relocated the ballfield; and have been working on improving the water system. Future projects include having the DNR continue to monitor water conditions at the lake; the county will put stone and gravel on the roads; and they plan to have the campsites ready for occupancy by the end of May. They will also set up a self-service box style camping fee collection system.
Helmick explained why the commission chose to move ahead with these improvements to the Handley property themselves rather than wait on a decision from Parks and Recreation as to whether that organization could handle the added responsibility of administrating the property. Helmick said they decided that the commission could move faster on this.
The commission also:
• approved the request of County Prosecutor Terri Helmick to hire Jamie Hill to fill a vacant position. Hill will begin work May 3 with full-time benefits.
• appointed Teresa Sheets to fill the North Central Community Action’s Public Sector Seat.
• reviewed and approved the deed received from the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and from the County Building Commission for two acres of land behind the hospital. This will be the site on which the new 911 Center/EMS facility will be built. Now that the lease has been approved, it can be recorded by the County Clerk’s Office.
• approved and issued a resolution to proceed with the Court Security Grant.
• appointed Tiffany Long as a County Coroner. She is an EMT and attended nursing school.
• voted to approve Ann Walker’s contribution request on behalf of Experience the Arts, a non-profit organization. The commission contributed $4,500 which will be used to support the sixth annual Art in the Park event at Watoga State Park to be held Labor Day weekend.
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