By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
The Fire and Rescue Departments in Greene County are not funded by the county – they raise their own funds. At the March 11th Board of Supervisors meeting, Melissa McDaniel, Emergency Services Manager , did something she has never done before – she asked the BOS to pledge a 20% match for a grant request being made of the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund for the Ruckersville Volunteer Fire Company. She indicated that if the BOS turned down the matching grant request that they would pursue the 100 percent grant option.
The request is for a Quick Response Vehicle that is to be a first responder in an EMS situation.
The current vehicle is 7 years old and has several mechanical problems and this modified vehicle does not support all the functions of a first response vehicle.
McDaniel understood that approval from the BOS may set a precedent that the other volunteer fire departments in Greene County will probably come asking for the same consideration.
Supervisor Davis Lamb (Ruckersville) noted that the deadline for the application for the grant is March 15th, before the next BOS meeting – so an action is needed tonight. Supervisor Eddie Deane (At-Large) indicated his support but that this request will lead other fire departments in the county to make the same matching funding requests. Supervisor Bill Martin (Stanardsville) stressed how important this vehicle is to the RVFD that they would go for the 100% request if the BOS turned them down. He further stated that this is a difficult spot to be in but the county cannot afford the matching funds being requested. Supervisor David Cox (Monroe) stated that Greene County needs a policy on fleet management.
John Barkley, Greene County Administrator , was charged with looking at the fleet of vehicles across the county. McDaniel understood this action and indicated that she would assist in working toward a fleet review for the next budget process.
All the supervisors made comments in support of the work that the Fire Departments and Rescue Squads do. The undercurrent from all of the comments from the BOS was that Greene County is facing a difficult budget coming up or perhaps it was just that they had spent the majority of the day discussing the FY15 budget.
Chairman Jim Frydl (Midway), asked for a motion to approve the 20% matching fund request and got no motion. The request was therefore not approved.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you.