Sooner Than Two Years?

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 23, 2013

BERMUDA RUN – Perhaps the EMS site here will be up and running again sooner than expected.

During last Tuesday night’s Bermuda Run Town Council meeting, mayor Ken Rethmeier revealed some new information after the board approved a resolution supporting the Davie County Commissioners’ desire to expedite the relocation of the EMS station back to Bermuda Run.

EMS crews are being housed at the Advance Fire Department, a few miles south on NC 801, but Rethmeier said that a new building on the existing site could be in the works sooner than expected.

“In conversations that I’ve had with chairman (Robert) Wisecarver, he took the initiative last week to sit down with the outgoing county manager (Beth Dirks) and to ask her to begin the process of working the due diligence with the county facilities and engineering group for, I will use the term, ‘a more immediate process than two years,’ to begin the process of replacing the building,” Rethmeier said.

He said that would include using the current site, tearing the building down and replacing it with a brick structure.

“We would hopefully avoid some of the problems we’ve seen with the existing facility,” Rethmeier said of the building, which was initially thought to be infested with mold, but no signs of mold were found after testing.

The hope would be to house three EMS teams instead of one along with an additional vehicle at the Bermuda Run site.

Rethmeier had told the full board of county commissioners earlier in the month that the EMS site should remain in Bermuda Run, and be a top priority. Commissioners had given themselves a two-year window to replace the site.

Commissioners Carl Humphrey and Richard Poindexter agreed with Rethmeier. “I tend to agree that two years is a long time. I would like to see us do a little better,” Humphrey said. “Let’s take steps as rapidly as we can.”

Rethmeier said that Wisecarver asked him to contact Dr. John McConnell of Wake Forest Baptist Health to see about support from the new medical facility in Bermuda Run.

“Conceptually, Dr. McConnell sees this as a big win-win for everybody,” Rethmeier said. “And we’ll begin the process of working with the hospital side to see about the use of potentially partnering the Davie hospital foundation and the county and coming up with an appropriate mix of funding so that we ensure that both the building as well as the vehicle is added to the site. That could be done relatively quickly if everyone puts forth the effort we’ve seen so far.”

Councilman John Guglielmi praised the efforts of Wisecarver and his “progressive attitude in moving this proposed EMS station back to Bermuda Run quicker than two years.”

The council also approved a resolution supporting approval of the May 2014 school bond referendum in the county for one new Davie High School for all students.

The resolution recognizes the actions of the Davie County Board of Commissioners to put the issue to a vote and also endorses the recommendation of the Davie County Board of Education.

Rethmeier said that a new high school “to come in this direction would benefit the town dramatically.”

New council member Ken Bateman was sworn in to his seat on the council along with incumbents Shirley Cagle and Ed Coley, who also won in the November election.

“I am pleased and honored to have been elected on to the Town Council,” Bateman said. “I am looking forward to working with the council.”

Bateman replaces Andy Hewitt, who was recognized for his dedication and years of service on the board.

In other business, the council:

• Appointed Guglielmi as the new mayor pro tem, succeeding Coley.

• Appointed Lynn Marcellino to a position on the planning board, filling the rest of the term for Bateman after his election to a council seat. The term expires in June 2016.

• Approved a resolution regarding the use of town property and facilities with guidelines for proper use.

• Adopted the 2014 meeting schedule with regular meetings continuing to be scheduled on the second Tuesday night of each month at 7 p.m.

• Approved a voluntary annexation request (in the November meeting) from Liberty Healthcare Properties of Davie County for 4.876 acres at 316 NC 801 S.