Published 10:29 am Thursday, March 31, 2016

WINTON – The Hertford County Board of Commissioners failed to resolve two early issues on the March 21 agenda: a nutrition site in Harrellsville and ambulances (EMT units) scattered throughout the county.

The commissioners would like to establish a nutrition site in the Harrellsville area to provide home delivered meals to elderly people and others who can’t prepare their own meals or go out to get them.

County Manager Loria Williams recommended making a privately owned building in Harrellsville a nutrition hub, which would not prepare meals, but would be a place meals would be delivered to so volunteers could pick up for delivery to those in need.

She called it, “a short term solution” to meet the nutritional needs of the 80-90 people living in the Harrellsville area.

Commissioner Curtis Freeman responded, “If we can do it for Murfreesboro, we can do it for Harrellsville. They pay taxes, too.”

Board Chairman Ronald Gatling said this was not the update he was expecting. It was at a commissioners’ meeting in February where Gatling initially brought up the subject of nutrition sites in the county, including much needed repairs to the Ahoskie location and the possibility of opening a site in Harrellsville.

Williams said the county owns the Murfreesboro, Winton, and R.L Vann (Ahoskie) nutrition sites, but does not own the Harrellsville site.

Gatling told her to work it out with the owners so that it could serve those who need the nutrition service in the Harrellsville area.

He added, “Don’t come back in here and tell me what you can’t do. Don’t tell me it can’t be done without good reasons.”

A recent complaint from a citizen about a slow ambulance response out of Ahoskie prompted the commissioners to seek more locations for ambulance dispatch. Currently, ambulances are dispatched from Ahoskie, Winton, and Murfreesboro.

James Broglin, EMS director, said ambulance-response averages about 12 minutes. He cited Bertie and Northampton counties’ EMS responses and the number of certified EMS personnel they have. He suggested Hertford County change its shift structure to operate more efficiently.

The commissioners asked if he making a recommendation, to which he replied he would have to work on it.

No decisions were made.