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South County EMS

Regional EMS back in play for buying library building in Whately

The Western Massachusetts Regional Library System building in Whately could become the home for the new South County Emergency Medical Service.  (Recorder file/Paul Franz)

The Western Massachusetts Regional Library System building in Whately could become the home for the new South County Emergency Medical Service. (Recorder file/Paul Franz)

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 buyer have fallen through. The buyers withdrew their offer because they were unable to sell their 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 place to center 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 in talks, Whately Town Administrator Lynn Sibley said she is waiting for official commitment from the three boards of selectmen 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 is looking to rent a space along Interstate 91 or between Route 2 and Interstate 90 to operate more efficiently and save costs.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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