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Decision delayed

JACKSON — A decision on the franchise for Eastside EMS has been delayed pending further information being provided.

Additionally in a separate vote, the commissioners authorized the solicitation of funding for the construction of a County EMS substation in the eastern portion of the county.

On Wednesday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners gave their decision on Eastside EMS following a closed session for attorney-client privilege with Attorney Chuck Revelle.

Previously, the commissioners approved the franchise pending an independent legal review of the application by Revelle. County Attorney Charles Vaughan excused himself from the matter citing conflict of interest as he represents the town of Woodland.

“I do have a recommendation to bring to you that you delay granting a franchise until provision of the following information to the satisfaction of the county board of commissioners,” said Revelle following the closed session.

Revelle listed the following as the provision:

A list of ambulances to be operated;

Proof of ownership or authorization to use those ambulances;

Proof of insurance on those ambulances in the name of Eastside EMS;

A list of the assets and liabilities of the corporation, a non-audited financial statement to include the ambulances and equipment owned by Eastside EMS; and

To reaffirm the necessity of question B on the application under section 5.1K of the ordinance.

“And that is related to asking about court records,” he said.

Question B on the application states: “The court record, if any, of applicant is (if the applicant is corporation, partnership, list officers and manager or director and court record, if any, of these individuals.)” The response listed under the question is “none.”

Commissioner Fannie Greene moved to accept the recommendation coming from Revelle. Commissioner Robert Carter offered a second and the motion passed without objection.

On the application for the franchise, signed by Eastside EMS Commander Susan Joyner, the estimated net worth of the newly formed non-profit is $0. The application states that Eastside EMS planned to use two vehicles in their operations and provide 24 hour basic life service to those in the district formerly covered by Woodland Rescue. Under the question if there are any liens or other encumbrances on the vehicles to be used the response was “no”.

Before the decision on Eastside EMS, the commissioners authorized County EMS Director Charles Joyner to begin the process of soliciting funds to construct a substation near Milwaukee community.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins noted it had been a long term goal of the county to place a substation on the eastern side of the county (possibly on Buck Boone Road) in order to shorten the response time of a paramedic level responder to that side of Northampton.

In addition to that goal, Charles Joyner noted with the disbandment of Woodland EMS in September a strain has been put on the county’s EMS resources who have to respond from Jackson to the Woodland and Rich Square areas. With those trucks responding from Jackson, those in need of assistance in Rich Square and Woodland have a 15-20 minute wait time.

Charles Joyner said the building would be approximate 800 square foot and provided the commissioners of a rough estimate of $120,000 to $150,000 for the cost of construction.

He said he planned to only solicit funding (including grants) for the project and no other action could take place without further board approval.

Carter moved to allow Charles Joyner to solicit funding for the construction of an eastern EMS substation. Commission Vice Chair Virginia Spruill offered a second and the motion passed without objection.