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County will cover Emmitsburg Ambulance fees

(5/18) Frederick County Commissioners voted 4-1 on May 8 to grant up to $30,000 relief from permit fees and a 75 cent per-square-foot excise tax that would be due the county from the construction of the new Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company building.

Commission President John L. "Lennie" Thompson Jr. cast the only dissenting vote.

The proposed 25,895 square foot, two-story EVAC structure would generate an excise tax of $19,421, with permit fees due the county amounting to over $4,500.

EVAC President Joseph Pelkey said that plumbing permits would be another $600, and there is no estimate yet on electrical permit fees.

Building largely for 'social' functions

The $1.9 million facility will be located on a 4.01-acre tract on Creamery Road, purchased in 2004 for $130,000 from Sheridan "Dan" and Greg Reaver of Emmitsburg Glass Co. Pelkey told The Dispatch the nearly $2 million price tag does not include the cost of the land.

The commissioners previously supported the Guardian Hose Company, Thurmont, in construction of its planned new fire station by paying off excise and county permit fees, also in the amount of $30,000.

However, the new Guardian building, which will cost $2.2 million, will be devoted entirely to emergency services with no portion set aside for social functions or fundraising.

Only about one-third of the new EVAC building will be directly related to emergency medical services, with two-thirds devoted to social and fundraising functions.

According to plans filed with the town, the building's first floor will be 70 feet by 211 feet; while the second floor will be 60 feet by 70 feet. Although the second floor will be devoted to housing ambulance personnel, only a 55-foot by 70-foot area on the first floor, the ambulance bay, will be directly related to emergency operations.

Nearly three-quarters of the lower floor will be used for non-emergency purposes, including bingo and other fundraising activities, complete with kitchen facilities and bathrooms to serve special events. That area would also provide the town with a social hall for events..

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