For weeks we’ve been closely monitoring developments in Carter County after the EMS director threatened to close two stations if he didn’t get additional funding.
Monday night commissioners approved a one time bailout of $160,000 to keep the Roan Mountain and Hampton rescue stations open.
We found the story does not end there.
Mayor Leon Humphrey tells us Carter County EMS entered into a 4 year, $170,000 contract with the county back in June of 2013.
While there is not a specific signed document for that contract, Mayor Humphrey says there are various other methods of proof.
From commission meeting minutes, to videos of those commission meetings and even an audit from 2014, Mayor Humphrey says there is proof of a contract.
Mayor Humphrey showed us an annual audit from 2014 provided by the Carter County EMS’s CPA firm that says, “The organization received a $170,000 appropriation from Carter County in the current year.The appropriation is part of an exclusive four year operating franchise agreement which terminates in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.”
Mayor Humphrey says in his eyes that is a contract and something they should hold EMS services responsible for.
We called Terry Arnold Tuesday afternoon and he said over the phone there is “No contract on EMS side, and never has been.”
Humphrey goes on to say the tactic taken by the EMS services to either get money or close two stations was unwarranted, and unfair. He says it upset many people in the county.
“This is information provided by EMS, they also acknowledge there is no contract, it confirms, its their CPA firm, their audit report, they are the ones that filed it here in the courthouse, we do have a contract, and we should adhere to that,” said Humphrey.
However Mayor Humphrey went on to say he agrees with the county commissioners decision Monday night to allocate that $160,000 to EMS.
He hopes it will assure the citizens that the Roan Mountain and Hampton services will remain in place.
Moving forward Humphrey tells us they are forming a task force to look at the EMS’s funding issues to find a long term solution.
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