North Baltimore fire and EMS PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 11:23
NORTH BALTIMORE — The possibility of a new fire station and EMS building south of the railroad tracks took one step closer to reality on Tuesday — with no tax dollars.
During council, EMS Chief John VanScoder reported he had just received information that day about $210 million being given away in grants by FEMA for the construction or renovation of fire and EMS buildings.
“It is 100 percent paid, no match ... . The more I read it, the more we qualify for this,” he stated, holding up the extensive grant paperwork.
VanScoder gave council copies of the plan originally drawn up for a new building by Peterman Associates Inc. which features three drive-through bays, a single vehicle bay, living quarters with four bunks, storage rooms and a communication room. The plans were previously drawn up, but a levy to build it failed.
After the meeting Mayor Ned Sponsler and Councilman William Cameron said the new building was estimated to cost $900,000 when plans were first drawn. They agreed the cost to build it now would be about $1 million. Sponsler said FEMA’s money is part of the federal government’s stimulus package.

The decision has to be made by June 8 whether or not to apply for the grant, and then fire and EMS have four weeks to fill in the grant paperwork.
During the meeting VanScoder said it is an in-depth grant application and asked for help to do it. He said Bethany Moore, who writes grants, had agreed to do it for between $500 to $1,000.
During council’s discussion, it was agreed the building could possibly be built on land by the village reservoir, and the EMS chief said the village would be “bumped up” on the list to get a grant if land is already owned for its construction.
Asked if the current fire/EMS building would be abandoned, VanScoder replied, “No. This gives us north and south stations.”
“If this opportunity is out there, I think we’d be foolish not to grasp it,” stated Councilman Aaron Patterson. Council approved a motion to hire a grant writer for no more than $1,000 with costs split between the fire and EMS budgets.
“We may have a good shot at this,” stated Police Chief Allan Baer, noting the town’s proximity to the new intermodal rail yard.
The police chief announced a problem, not only with vehicular break-ins and thefts, but that residents are leaving purses and wallets in unlocked cars, then not reporting the thefts.
“Lock your cars, people,” stated Baer, adding “those days are gone” when residents could leave items in unlocked vehicles. All the thefts occurred in unlocked vehicles.
The chief said 12 vehicles were broken into in Eagle Landing, but only one resident called to make a report to police. He said officers can’t direct their resources toward solving crimes if they don’t know about them. “Call us as it’s happening,” he said. One citizen saw a person breaking in at 4 a.m. and waited two days to tell police.
Baer also reported streets need name signs to aid emergency workers, as well as residents putting up house numbers; every bar in town was found to be in 100 percent compliance for not selling to underage persons (compared to 50 percent compliance last year); and five or six dispatchers will be notaries, along with one officer.
“This is a service we’ll be able to provide free of charge,” he stated.
Administrator Kathy Healy reported town residents are invited June 15 to eat a family picnic dinner with the residents at the Briar Hills campus from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Food and prizes are provided.
Youth ages 16 to 24 who are looking for summer employment are encouraged to apply through the Wood County Educational Service Center in Bowling Green. Healy said the village applied for five young people to work in the village, and it was hoped they could be local youth.
Council will meet June 9 for a meeting-of-the-whole, but its next regularly scheduled meeting will be July 7.
Council held an executive session to discuss a legal issue, after which no action was taken.
 

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