Tucker Commission’s fire funding questioned

The Tucker County Commission was asked Wednesday why funding to the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department had been “dramatically cut.”

The Parsons VFD’s treasurer Tom Klus, questioned why the summer distribution check for the department was smaller than in recent years.

“We get our share of the hotel motel tax,” Klus said. “My records show that four years ago, the mid-summer distribution was $3,300, give or take; three years ago it was $2,000 and some change; a year ago, we received $2,700 and some change.

“This year, I was quite surprised when I opened the envelope and the check was for $748.84.”

Klus said he came to County Clerk Sherri Simmons to ask why the amount was smaller this summer. Klus said Simmons told him the collections were down because of the renovating of rooms at Canaan Valley Resort.

“I am here asking for an official clarification of why the mid-summer distribution was so dramatically cut,” Klus said. “Am I missing something? I cannot internalize that almost 80 percent of our distribution comes from Canaan Valley Resort.”

Klus also demonstrated for commissioners the fire department thread adapters and water-proof coverings for “worker bee” radios. The covers, which can be used during floods, rain and water rescues, allow the fire fighter to talk into and hear the radio through the water-proof covering. Klus said the radios’ water-proof, floatable covers each cost $40.

“I would ask that I be contacted with a detailed explanation so I can understand what is going on in the universe,” Klus said.

“Sherry is on vacation,” Commissioner Mike Rosenau said. “When she comes back, we will go over the figures with her. You can come up as well and see what is going on, but I know there has been no reduction in our contribution, our percentage that we give to the fire companies from what is coming in. I know that. Each fire department gets 5 percent.”

Klus could not tell commissioners how much he received in total each year, nor could he tell commissioners how much he received in the last quarterly allocation. Commissioners asked him to bring those totals when they meet to go over the information upon Simmons’ return.

“If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to come to us,” Rosenau said. “We have nothing to hide – it’s all in the books.”