Red Springs commissioners invests $32K in rescue squad

·3 min read

Aug. 5—RED SPRINGS — Commissioners here approved this week an investiment of about $32,000 toward getting the Red Springs Rescue Squad up and running.

They voted first to approve a contract that finalizes a leasing agreement where the town would pay $13,000 per year and lease the property located at 209 W. Fourth Ave. to the squad. In the contract, the town will also pay town utilities totalling about $9,000, bringing the value of the contract agreement to $22,000.

The Tuesday vote came after Red Springs commissioners stepped in last year to help the Rescue Squad pay off loan debt so it could continue to provide services in the town.

In October 2021, commissioners made a motion to move forward in the process of paying Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation a down payment of $15,000 in the loan agreement concerning the property. The remaining money was to be paid over an eight-year period, according to Town Manager David Ashburn.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a $10,000 allocation to the rescue squad to fund operational fees with the mandate that the town will directly pay for the squad's insurance out of the $10,000.

"What we'll do is we'll pay that directly to VFIS, the Volunteer Firemen Insurance [Services] and then we will cut them a check for whatever amount of that $10,000 is left," Ashburn said.

An initial motion made my Commissioner Duron Burney to give the entire $10,000 to the squad failed after the vote tied and Mayor Ed Henderson made the tie-breaking no vote.

"They have done what we've asked them to do as far as the paperwork," Burney said. "We can't say what they're going to do until we give them the chance so this is their opportunity to show the board that they're willing to go forward and I think the board should support that budget."

Commissioner Ronnie Patterson was not in support of giving the squad the full amount until it was proven that they were able to service the town.

"If we call for an ambulance, I want to see that ambulance come out —not that we keep putting money into it and not getting something out," Patterson said. "They're going to give the citizen what we paid for or I won't be for it next year."

Land chosen for 3D printed homes

In other business Tuesday commissioners chose land adjacent to Tom Cope Park as the site for the construction of 3D printed houses.

During the July business meeting, James Freeman, CEO of the Emerging Technology Institute, told Red Springs commissioners his company has been working with the College of Engineering at N.C. State University and Habitats for Humanity in an effort to secure state funding to purchase technology that will 3D print concrete houses among other structures.

Ashburn said that the property will not be offically turned over until the funding is secured.

"If the grant doesn't come through, the town still has the property," Ashburn said. "But if the grant goes though and we move forward on it, then we will deed the property over."

Also Tuesday, commissioners:

— Voted to fund a part time position for the town's Fire Department to cover the 9-5 Monday through Friday time slots when volunteer fire fighters are least likely to be available.

— Updated the town's policy to cover all fees accumulated with employees who are required obtain a CDL liscense, as consistent with state law.

—Approved funding to season positions for grass cutter personnel. The employees main focus will be maintaining the town's two cemetaries.

— Updated the town's policy creating a more detailed desciption of employees qualify for merit raises.

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at tsinclair@robesonian.com or 910-416-5865.