A special group of Yadkin County EMS personnel was recognized at the Yadkin County commissioners meeting on Monday. Several individuals from both the EMS and Communications departments were presented with a Life Saving Award.
Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal said the criteria for receiving the award was quite strict. Not only had patients under the care of these EMS workers been revived from having no pulse or not breathing, they also had to return to a similar quality of life following their hospital stay.
Awards were presented for incidents dating back to April of last year to EMS employees Caleb Madison, Joshua Swaim, James Hamm, Cari Harold, Bradley Corn, John Spillman, Nathan Gunter, Timothy Hawks, Melissa Riddle, Kelly Baron, Kimberly Everidge, Daniel Tucker, Krystal Kye, Christopher Bolden, Paul Balthis, Shaun Stanley, John Matthews, Charles Gammons, Kimberly Austin, Ronald Hicks, Kayla Johnson, William Bunnell, Keith Vestal, Justin Brooks, David Church and Randy Renegar. Communications staff members Margaret White, Kim Schimmeck, Kayla Parsons, Sheila Riding, Sarah Woolen and Heather Brannon also received the honor.
Vestal had high praise for these award winners as well as the entire Yadkin County EMS staff.
“I’d put them up against anybody in the state and the United States,” Vestal said.
The commissioners praised the award winners for their hard work and dedication.
“I think we have the best and this is a real good example of that,” said Commissioner Frank Zachary.
Commissioner Kevin Austin, chairman of the board, commented how impressed he was during a recent emergency situation at Lake Hampton and how well not only the EMS staff, but the rescue squad, fire departments and sheriff’s office deputies worked together.
“The professionalism you all showed on that day and on a regular basis is evidenced here tonight with these awards and I want to thank you all,” he said.
Greg Cheek also addressed the board at Monday’s meeting in regard to the conservation project of a piece of Yadkin County history. The Yadkin Gray Eagles flag is thought to be the only Civil War company flag to return to its original owner following the war. The flag is now held at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History Museum, but it is in a state of disrepair such that is not able to be on view for the public.
The Yadkin Gray Eagles reenactors group hopes to raise funds so that the flag can be conserved for future generations to be able to view this piece of history. Cheek gave a short presentation on the flag’s history and the cost of the conservation project. Members of the group were able to view the flag at the museum last year.
Donations are being accepted and commemorative coins are being sold to benefit the project as well. The group still needs to raise more than $19,000 for the project. Donations may be made to the N.C. Museum of History Foundation, Inc., with Yadkin Gray Eagles Flag specified in the member or by contacting Cheek at email@example.com.
A public hearing also took place at the meeting on the revised Yadkin County Volunteer Agricultural District Ordinance to incorporate the Enhanced Voluntary District program. The Enhanced Voluntary District program would follow a stricter guideline and provides that land in the district remain so for 10 years, rather than the previous Agricultural District Ordinance in which land owners may write a letter requesting to be removed from the program. Land owners will have to sign up if they wish to participate in the new enhanced district. No speakers came forward on the topic and the ordinance passed.
A budget amendment was approved by the board for a $300,000 transfer from the General Fund to the Vehicle Replacement Fund for replacement of six sheriff’s vehicles, one animal shelter vehicle, one emergency services vehicle and one new vehicle for Emergency Services to pull the mobile command center and generator.
An budget amendment also was approved for a transfer of $130,000 from the Solid Waste Fund Balance to cover the disposal transfer fees for the remainder of the fiscal year.
The board approved an amendment committing $1 million of the county’s fund balance for future property acquisitions. Committed fund balance means that it cannot be used for any other purpose unless the board votes to rescind the commitment.
The fiscal year 2018 Capital Improvement Plan also was approved by the board. For the last several years, the county has adopted a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan to plan capital projects greater than $5,000 and/or that will take more than one year to complete. The first year is adopted within the county budget annually and the remaining nine years are for planning purposes only.
The 2018 fee schedule was approved including several new and increased fees. Under Solid Waste fees, the tipping fee was increased to $60 per ton from $53. The minimum fee transfer station was increased to $7 from $5. Due to a four-percent increase by the Winston-Salem Forsyth Utilities Commission, there also will be an increase in the East Bend water line from $33 for 0 to 2,000 gallons to $34.32 and from $13.13 to $13.66 for over 2,000 gallons. For the full fee schedule, visit www.yadkincountync.gov.
During her report to the board, County Manager Lisa Hughes noted that signage is being updated at the Yadkin County hospital property to list the names of the medical providers with office space in the facility. She also reported that a grant extension had been filed for in order to replace HVAC units as part of a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.
Hughes also requested, on behalf of the NC Forest Service, that a new truck be purchased. The county pays 40 percent of the fees for the NC Forest Service. The county’s share for the new vehicle would be around $17,000. The board approved the request.
The board also approved an $86,000 appropriation to the school system to cover supplement shortfalls that were approved by the General Assembly last year after the county’s budget had already been passed.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.