Kenbridge Rescue again tax exempt

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Kenbridge Rescue Squad‘s tax-exempt status has been reinstated, Administrator Rodney Newton said.

Newton, who is also Victoria town administrator and chief of the Victoria Fire and Rescue Department, told the Kenbridge Town Council at its April meeting that the squad’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit status was reinstated in late March.

Newton told council members in January that the paperwork to have status reinstated had been submitted and locals hoped to hear something from the Internal Revenue Service within a few months. The announcement was well received by the council.

Mayor Emory Hodges said that in 2015 the shape of the squad was “one of the biggest concerns I had as mayor of Kenbridge … that was a very difficult time.”

But, he said, from the time Newton took over last October, the mayor did not receive one complaint about it. “I think that speaks highly of what you have done,” he said.

Subsequently, the council voted to reinstate paying for the squad’s fuel, electricity and insurance.

Meanwhile, Newton said, the squad is moving on the purchase of an ambulance, and has started to pay personnel to work nights. He noted, however, that calls are being covered and the Kenbridge and Victoria departments are working well to cover calls. “We’re not making our patients wait,” he said.

Newton 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 had earlier also told the council a considerable amount of money comes into the department for memorials, but he was reluctant to put an emphasis on fundraising 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 writeoff.