Princeton EMS engaged in stalemate with county

August 20, 2012 3:25:00 PM PDT
A troubled EMS merger is putting one town at odds with its county.

Negotiations will continue between the Princeton Rescue Squad and Johnston County EMS.

For now, Princeton's two EMS trucks remain locked up and officials are refusing to turn over the keys until an agreement is made.

Nearly $1 million in property and cash is at stake in the dispute between the town and the county.

The head of Princeton EMS Chief Eugene Hartley said they're willing to turn over the keys under one condition.

"For them to say they are staying here in the county, and build a building here," said Hartley.

However, the county apparently hasn't agreed. Hartley said it's become a one-sided relationship where they give and give and give, but get nothing in return.

As a result, they've locked up their stuff and are refusing to turn over the keys to the two trucks, all the equipment and the $300,000 in the bank, which Princeton was planning on using to build a new building.

The county says Hartley's claims aren't exactly true but admits they should have handled things a bit better.

"Just like every dispute, the truth is somewhere in the middle," said Johnston County Comissioner Allen Mims Jr. "All sides have learned something and we should have gotten by this a little differently and things would have been a little smoother."

Hartley added that while services aren't affected now, they think, with the population growth, folks could be affected in the future if a substation isn't built here.

They have until Sept. 4 to come up with a resolution.

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