W. Alex discusses EMS property lease


WEST ALEXANDRIA — During a meeting on Monday, Feb. 15, West Alexandria Village Council took steps toward terminating a lease for the current EMS building in order to give the property more flexibility.

The building was deeded to the village in June 1991 with a 30 year provision which required the grantee to only use the real estate for the following: providing emergency medical services for the care of the community, housing ambulances and related equipment, providing staff and office space needed for emergency medical services, and any fund raising activities for the EMS department.

The building is prohibited to be used for fire protection services for the community, police protection services for the community, street services, board of public affair services, town offices or other governmental functions, and storage or housing of village vehicles other than those providing emergency medical services.

This provision is set to expire on June 5, 2021.

“This lease should automatically renew unless either party advises the other in writing via certified U.S. mail at least six months prior to the expiration of the lease,” said Village Solicitor Richard Faber.

The termination of the lease doesn’t mean the village cannot continue to use the area for EMS, but instead allows West Alexandria to use the building as they feel necessary, giving it more flexibility, said Faber.

Council voted in favor of drafting a letter to terminate the lease. It will not take effect until it expires in 2021, however.

They also had the first reading of an ordinance which will set a limitation on departmental spending at $2,500.

“This ordinance was prepared partly as a result of the generator situation and other things,” said Faber.

Several members addressed the board during the meeting as well, with school board member Sean Maggard and newly hired Superintendent Bob Fischer there to speak briefly about the school’s Permanent Improvement Levy which will be on the ballot in March.

The current bond and maintenance levy is dropping off at the end of the year, and the school is hoping it will be replaced by the P.I. levy that will cost approximately $70 per $100,000 home. The bond and maintenance levy currently costs taxpayers $98 per $100,000 home.

The new levy will bring in money to help fund repairs to the roof and other structures which need updated around the campus. The school plans on holding a walk-through for residents on March 1 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. to show several areas which are in need of updating.

Also addressing the board was Amanda Tharp, whose husband Marty Tharp had his job cut from full-time (including benefits) to part-time.

Tharp said current Fire Chief Jeff Shafer has proposed raises for himself and the Assistant Chief while also creating a position for Shafer’s son. These allegations have not been confirmed by village officials.

“I don’t understand how they’re saving money by cutting his position when they are spending it and throwing it out the window,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair that my husband’s position be cut and all these other things are going on. I think your eyes need to be opened to it. There are several staff members that will support my husband that knows what goes on behind those walls.”

Council did go into executive session with Marty Tharp and Shafer. No action was taken in the session, according to council upon their return to open session, but officials did make a motion to prepare an ordinance for amending a position of “full time general service employee,” eliminating the position for “economic reasons.”

There will be a special council meeting on Monday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m., to be held at the West Alexandria Water Treatment Plant.

By Jeremy Erskine

[email protected]

Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.

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