Money Woes Face Aberdeen Rescue Squad
Inadequate funding of the Aberdeen Rescue Squad was aired during a work session of the Moore County Board of Commissioners Thursday night.
The commissioners told Squad Capt. Jamie Boles, who is the county's state representative-elect, that the county has no money to add to the volunteer squad's budget. Instead, the commissioners urged the squad to meet with representatives of the towns of Aberdeen and Pinebluff and the county to work out a mutually acceptable solution.
"Volunteers are precious," said Commissioner Tim Lea. "The last thing we want to do is send a message that we don't think rescue squads are important."
Lea and other commissioners suggested that a friendly merger of existing public safety units serving the southern part of the county might be something to consider as a way to work out the difficulties faced by the squad.
"We're still honoring our commitment to the county," Boles said.
Boles said the squad is meeting provisions of its performance contract with the county and is not on probation. However, he said the squad simply does not have sufficient operating funds to cover basic expenses since the county split its appropriation to allocate 30 percent to the town of Aberdeen to support the fire department.
Chairman Colin McKenzie, and commissioners Cindy Morgan, Jimmy Melton and Lea told the Aberdeen representatives that they must get together and work out a suitable solution. Commissioner Larry Caddell was absent because of a family commitment.
"You need to get all your players together and figure it out. We can't do that for you. You need to sit down and talk it out and come to some solution. We don't have that much money," said Morgan, who serves on the committee working with rescue groups.
Also taking part were Director of Public Safety Carlton Cole, Emergency Manager Scot Brooks, Aberdeen Fire Chief Phillip Richardson, Aberdeen Rescue Squad member Chris Auman and Howard Gartman, the certified public accountant who audits the squad's books.
Additional details will be reported in a later edition of The Pilot.
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