WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – With budget cuts and layoffs being necessary to help balance the budget in Mingo County many citizens wonder why the Mingo County Commission would not accept an offer made by the City of Williamson and the Williamson Fire Department (WFD) to purchase an ambulance owned by the county.
Negotiations to purchase the ambulance were started months ago and in a regular scheduled meeting of the Mingo County Commission last Thursday night the offer was shot down.
According to County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith the county decided instead of going into a lease agreement with the City of Williamson, on behalf of the Williamson Fire Department, the county was going to put the ambulance up for public auction.
Approximately six months ago Williamson Fire Department Chief Joey Carey approached the commission asking for his department to be allowed to purchase the ambulance.
At the time the commissioners agreed to allow the purchase based on an agreeable lease amount.
Chief Carey came back to the commission offering $300 a month for a three year period.
Unfortunately for the WFD, the commission decided more money would be needed to lease the unit and after talking with city leaders Carey again approached the commission with an offer of $300 for the first 120 days of the lease to allow the city time to make a profit with the ambulance. After the 120 days the amount would increase to $500.
The ambulance would be used only as a backup in city limits and only if STAT could not respond.
This would give 911 an option if no other unit was available.
Carey said, “It is disappointing for the commission not to go through with the lease, this has only delayed a much needed service to the residents of Williamson.”
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.