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City Council OKs $50,000 for CRS

December 18, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to give $50,000 to the financially struggling Community Rescue Service and urged the county government to match the grant.

The nonprofit ambulance company underwent a major organizational shakeup this fall and typically faces a cash crunch toward the end of the year, Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner said.

"This is a critical time of the year, when their funding is normally at its lowest," said Breichner, who is a member of the CRS board.

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The grant was already in the city's 2002-2003 budget, but the release of the money was delayed by the management turnover, Breichner said.

Councilwoman Penny Nigh said she agreed to give CRS the money as long as the organization first provides the city with its financial information.

She urged the Washington County Commissioners to also help the agency, which handles about half of the county's ambulance calls.

Nigh resigned from the CRS board after the board ousted Executive Director J. Michael Nye.

Nigh and the two other board members who resigned said they disapproved of the way Nye was treated.

Replacement members joined the board in November.

The city of Hagerstown gave CRS a $50,000 grant last year as well, but there is no guarantee the money will be there in the 2003-2004 budget.

"We're hoping they can solve their own financial problems and don't have to depend on us," Breichner said.

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