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South County EMS

WMass library finds another buyer

  • Recorder file/Paul Franz<br/>The regional library building in Whately.

    Recorder file/Paul Franz
    The regional library building in Whately.

  • Recorder file/Paul Franz<br/>The regional library building in Whately.

WHATELY — For a second time, it seems South County Emergency Medical Service has lost out on a chance to acquire the regional library building in the industrial park.

Massachusetts Library System Executive Board has opted to sell its Whately building to a private business rather than have the new regional ambulance service operate there.

Executive Director Greg Pronevitz said the library system received an offer on the 13,382-square-foot facility from a local businessman that would allow the library staff to lease its current office for up to 18 months after the sale, which would give the library time to find a new office. The library is looking for a new facility along Interstate 91.

Pronevitz would not say who made the offer, or for how much. The asking price was $825,000. Over the next few weeks, the library and buyer have to agree on a purchase and sale agreement.

The boards of selectmen in Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland had also expressed interest in the library building as a potential joint facility for the new regional ambulance and the South County Senior Center. But the three towns were unable to make a firm offer because they had to go to town meeting first.

“We had an offer that relieved the financial burden we had for years,” Pronevitz said. For almost two years, the board of the state library system had tried to lease the building.

Last year, the library system put the facility on the market, and an offer to purchase came quickly. That first offer fell through because the buyer could not sell his existing building. The library system then put the facility back on the market last month and was once again presented with an offer, in addition to interest from the three towns.

The three towns and South County EMS Board of Oversight will regroup at a future meeting, the date of which is to be determined, to determine where they go from here.

For now, the regional service will continue to operate its primary ambulance out of the South Deerfield Fire Station and its backup rig out of the Sunderland Public Safety Complex. A third ambulance at the Whately fire station is reserved for community events.

The South Deerfield Fire Prudential Committee has agreed to share space with the regional service for up to three years.

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

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