MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - On Monday, The Mississippi County Finance Committee voted in favor of paying the Blytheville Emergency Squad for their current building.
The finance committee voted to pay the Blytheville Emergency Squad $200,000 for their existing building.
“We’re going to fix this. One way or another, your problem is going to be fixed. We’re going to take care of you," Mississippi County Finance Committee Chairmen Michael White said.
Now, the motion goes to the full quorum court for a vote next week.
The funding would come from the construction bond money for the courthouse renovation.
For the full meeting, you can visit the Mississippi County Arkansas Government YouTube channel.
The squad’s building, which was donated to them by Nucor years ago, sits on land owned by the county. That land is being used in the renovation of the courthouse.
“We had our first meeting about 14 months ago and I presented the plans and the drawings to the squad,” County Judge John Nelson said.
The plan showed that the property the squad it is on would be used as parking. That is when the squad was told they would have to move.
Nelson said during a meeting a few weeks ago, Judge Nelson said the head of the Blytheville Emergency Squad, Mike Godsey, asked how much time they had to leave the property.
“I thought it was pretty near but I didn’t know,” Nelson said.
Then, Nelson said he was contacted by the architect of the courthouse about a report saying they could no longer delay getting rid of the emergency squad building. Judge Nelson said he has not read the report.
“I informed Mike Godsey, that heads up the squad, that we had gotten the report in and the time was now,” Nelson said.
“And the judge called me yesterday and said we have to be out by Monday,” Godsey said.
Godsey said they knew they would have to move but thought they would have a little bit more time.
“That process of rebuilding and redoing that courthouse is going to be a year and a half project so we thought we have plenty of time," Godsey said.
The rescue squad has found a temporary home, but are looking for a permanent home.
Judge Nelson said he has offered a temporary home in Burdette at the old Arkansas Northeastern College facility and a permanent home for the rescue squad, next to the Pafford Ambulance base in Blytheville, both owned by Mississippi County.
The rescue squad, however, is looking for a place they can buy and own themselves.
“We want to get away from county stuff altogether where we won’t be answering to anybody but ourselves," Godsey said.
Fundraising efforts are underway for the project. Judge Nelson said his family would personally pledge $1,000 toward the construction of a new building for the squad.
In the statement, he recalled how “private subscriptions” were raised to construct the building the squad of volunteers now occupies.
“I am asking you for your support and financial contribution to this as well,” Nelson said.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up for the emergency squad. For that account, click here.
You can also call Mike Godsey at 870-278-0317 if you would like to help the squad.