Thursday, February 20, 2014
WHATELY — The possibility of basing the South County Emergency Medical Service at the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System building is back on the table.
Executive Director Gregory Pronevitz of the Massachusetts Library System said recent talks with another potential buyer have fallen through. That offer was withdrawn when the potential buyer could not sell its current building, Pronevitz said.
The library system is now talking with the towns of Whately, Deerfield and Sunderland, who sought the 11,000-square-foot building in the Whately Industrial Park last fall as a potential headquarters for the new regional paramedic ambulance service.
Pronevitz said if the towns want to pursue the property, the library system is open to the idea.
Before the towns move forward, Whately Town Administrator Lynn Sibley said she is waiting for official commitment from the three Select Boards and the South County EMS Board of Oversight.
The South County EMS has not officially launched yet, but once it does, the primary ambulance would be based at the South Deerfield fire station and the backup ambulance would be based at the Sunderland Public Safety Complex temporarily. The South Deerfield Fire District Prudential Committee is allowing the regional service to use the fire station on Greenfield Road for up to three years before it has to move out.
For almost two years, the library system has been trying to lease or sell the property. It has been based in the industrial park since 2006, paying $120,000 per year for building expenses. The library system wants to rent space along Interstate 91 or between Route 2 and Interstate 90 to operate more efficiently and save costs.