Kenbridge Rescue hopes to get tax-exempt status back

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The paperwork to have Kenbridge Rescue Squad’s tax-exempt non-profit status reinstated has been submitted and locals hope to hear something from the Internal Revenue Service within the next few months.

“I have heard anywhere from three to six months,” Rodney Newton told the Kenbridge Town Council during its Tuesday, Jan. 19, meeting.

Newton is chief of the Victoria Fire and Rescue Department and administrator of the Kenbridge Rescue Squad.

He was hired in September to oversee a reorganization of the Kenbridge squad. A joint statement by the Kenbridge Town Council and Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors announcing the move said Newton’s duties include reinstatement of its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, revision of its bylaws, increasing membership, improving call response times, implementing financial policies, and retaining grants from the state.

Newton told the council at its recent meeting that the department still struggles to have enough volunteers, but “We’re making sure the patients get the care in a timely manner.”

Newton said a considerable amount of money comes into the department from memorials, but he is reluctant to put an emphasis on fundraising right now without the tax-exempt status in place because the squad could end up being responsible for taxes on the money and donors may not get a write off.

The status of the squad’s finances will be clearer after he finishes the financial report.

“I can give you a better idea of where we’ll be in a couple of months,” Newton said.

The hiring of a new billing company could mean a $20,000 increase for the squad, but much of that could end up going to paying for staffing, Newton said.

Newton will become Victoria Town Manager in February, but said he will continue working with the Kenbridge rescue squad for now. He said it might disrupt or delay efforts to get things straight should a new name start appearing on documents, and, anyway, much of the major work has been done.

“With the help of the employees I’ve got, I think we can manage it,” he said.

He added however, it might be time for a chance once the nonprofit status is back in place.