The Scotland County Board of Commissioners convened for less than an hour on Monday during its regularly scheduled meeting to accept a new EMS billing services agreement, and to authorize the county to begin the application process to garner a Community Development Block Grant.
Upon the recommendation of Scotland County Manager Kevin Patterson, the board agreed to authorize the execution of a billing services agreement with “EMS/MC,” pending final approval of the county’s attorney.
The agreement, according to Patterson, will “enhance collections” enough to pay the 9.5-percent of collections fee charged by the service.
The agreement will also free up hours for a county employee currently handling all of EMS’ billing.
“This frees up some hours for that person and it also … will help us collect on the $600,000 in past due accounts that there are with EMS,” said Patterson.
The county will contract with EMS/MC to provide ambulance billing services, software to support those services and six tough book computers.
Following a report from Economic Developer Greg Icard, the board agreed to proceed with an application to the NC Department of Commerce for a Community Development Block Grant.
CDBG funds come from a federal grant program through the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development. Grant funds are provided for completion of a variety of projects and programs that serve low and moderate income residents and to improve the living conditions and appearance of city areas.
The board also received a report from the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office on the increasing number of copper and metal thefts occurring in the area.
“We have had a lot of reports, and everyone knows someone who has had something stolen from them,” said Scotland County Investigator Jonathan Edwards during his report to the board.
Edwards told the commissioners that he didn’t see how any ordinances that they might pass could help stymie the wave of theft because of how easy it is for the criminals to break down the metal and make it passable as scrap material.
“What is good about our scrapyards is that they actually get a vehicle description as well as tag ID,” said Edwards, praising the county’s scrapyards for their diligence.
Edwards even reported of a group now that “goes around cutting power lines” for the valuable metal contained inside of them.
The board did not act on the matter.
During his report to the board, Scotland County Memorial Library Director Leon Gyles extended an invitation to “concerned citizens who understand the library’s role within the community” to join the library advisory board, which is currently several members below capacity.
Gyles highlighted the importance of the advisory board’s role in allowing for “community input” in the library management process as he recounted the history of the board, which first met in September of 2008.
In other business:
- The board unanimously agreed to transfer the deed for a piece of county property to the Scotland County Humane Society with the addition of a reversionary clause, which would see the property return to the county’s ownership provided the shelter ceases to operate as an animal shelter on the site.
- The board voted unanimously to authorize an upset bid process for the sale of property on Highland Road. The board had previously accepted an offer, and now will initiate the upset bid process.