By Ronnie Hickman
For the Daily News
INEZ, Ky. — Monday, May 23 was a dark day for the Warfield Volunteer Fire Department as they had five vehicles repossessed by a Illinois based company called First Government Lease citing non payment for the past six months. WVFD Chief Doug Hinkle and several members of the fire department were at Thursday’s fiscal court explaining the situation the fire department is in.
One member said that company had already put those repossessed trucks on the internet to sale. Apparently it appeared that a loan was taken out on the trucks and no payments were made thus creating the repossession. One of the trucks that was taken was the one that was total wrecked last year.
Chief Hinkle said that he was not notified of the repossession until about 10 minutes before they showed up. He added that the company said they had send out a letter 30 days before but Hinkle said he never received one. He has been trying to contact the company but has not gotten any response. One member, Don York, who is the new treasurer, said that the company repossessed everything that rolled. The company told Chief Hinkle that they would need a $120,000 payment to be able to get their trucks back.
Since the trucks have been repossessed the Inez Volunteer Fire Department has given them of their trucks to use and the Kermit Volunteer Fire Department will provide mutual aid when needed. When the county enforced the $30 fire fee it was designed to help all the fire departments in the county but when some things came up that did not look right a call was placed to the Kentucky State Police to conduct an investigation which focuses on the past fire chief, his wife and board members.
Martin County Judge Kelly Callaham ask that the former chief be removed so Hinkle along with an entirely new board was put into place. Due to that active investigation the Warfield account was placed in a separate account and the county would pay for only the bills they have, not for operating expenses.
Chief Hinkle knows that his department cannot get any help from the fiscal court so all that he can do is the best he can and hope that the investigation wraps up soon.
“I want to thank Inez for a loan of their trucks and for Kermit saying they will help when we need it but I want the people in Warfield and the whole area is that we will keep the doors open and do the best we can and that we can get a truck as soon as possible but the lease company death with the former board and not us so we had no idea on what was going on but hopefully some kind of resolution can be found,” Chief Hinkle said.
Judge Callaham said that the court wanted to pay the fire department bills but that everybody is pointing their fingers at him and the fiscal court saying the fiscal court is holding up the money or its fault why this has happened.
“People on social media is pointing their fingers at myself and this court and say things that are not true and then it causes more problems” Callaham said. We can’t change the ordinance but the only thing we can do is help see that Warfield keeps its doors open. I was never notified of any repossession so it came as a surprise but hopefully this investigation by the KSP will uncover a lot of stuff that had been going on and the Warfield Volunteer Fire Department can get back on its feet.”