Fenwick Island Town Council amends ambulance agreement

The Fenwick Island Town Council met last week to approve changes to the town’s ambulance service agreement with the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

Fenwick, along with Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Sea Colony, have an agreement of service, which included having the department work on establishing legislation that would allow for equitable district-wide funding for the ambulance district.

“We thought that we would be able to get the backing of the State or the County in order for them to commit X amount of dollars,” explained Mayor Audrey Serio. “No time soon is this going to happen.”

Serio went on to explain that there have been numerous attempts to get support for the legislation from state fire officials, however, the issue has failed to get traction.

“There is a bill written. It was on George Bunting’s desk, ready to be taken,” she said. “But they cannot get the support. The state fire association is very strong within our state, and they’re really the ones that put the kibosh on any direct funding… They do not want to give up any control that they have within their fire departments.”

She added that each of the four entities that joined together in the BBVFC ambulance agreement was to vote on whether to remove the section referencing the legislative effort or keep it, and the majority vote will rule. Already, South Bethany has voted to remove it.

The Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously this week to approve the removal of the section, but council members said they will try to pursue the matter in the future.

“We’ve done it, and we’ve gotten the door shut in our face. Will we try again? Yeah,” added Serio. “We needed to take it out of there because the contract was not being fulfilled.”

In other town news:

• The Town plans to remove their beach-access Mobi Mats by Oct. 8.

• Town Manager Merritt Burke said that town hall renovations are still ongoing, with two offices left to be re-carpeted and re-painted. There are also new aerial maps in the council room, courtesy of Sussex County.

• Delmarva Power will be replacing 18 poles within the town and plans to complete the replacement process in early 2013.