Revenue Sharing needs to go away
In my opinion, revenue sharing should never have been a part of the new emergency service ordinance.
On March 5, 2014, a special meeting of the Jefferson County Emergency Services Agency was held to discuss the JCESA and the proposals made by Commissioner Walt Pellish. One of the discussion points was to have a 50 percent revenue sharing of ambulance insurance fees collected be given to the JCESA. All departments in attendance voiced opposition to this proposal because this is a very important part of the cash flow to operate our volunteer departments and after all things are considered there really are not any funds to share after one considers the expenses to purchase and to operate our ambulances.
After this meeting, I shared with Commissioner Pellish the financial position of the Shepherdstown Fire Department and with a a 50 percent revenue sharing we would not have been able to pay anything on the principal of our debt during 2013.
Having served as the treasurer for 25 years, I can attest that our members and volunteers do not have any more energy or time to do additional fundraisers nor do we need any more forms and paperwork to complete.
In 2014, we spent approximately 60 days doing fundraising and this does not include the planning of them. We are already smothered with paperwork and we are now beginning to plan for the replacement of at last one ambulance, not to mention the expenses to maintain and replace our fire equipment plus maintain our property.
I want to encourage the Jefferson County Commission to amend the ordinance and to remove the revenue sharing.
The JCESA should not even have to deal with this issue. I recognize the budget problems of Jefferson County, but please do not expect our volunteer fire and ambulance departments to help the JCESA financially when they were created to help and assist us.
The real problem will occur someday when we can no longer attract volunteers and and the county will be expected to provide the services no provided by dedicated volunteers.
Dennis L. Barron