Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

June 10, 2013

Questions need answered before fire house sold

This letter is in reference to the current situation of the McCoole Fire Company demise (“McCoole’s fire house to be auctioned, locals express disgust: Volunteer company nearly $1M in debt,” June 9 Times-News, Page 1A).

Approximately four years ago I went to the Allegany County Commissioners (previous regime) to explain to them what was going on with the Fire Company and their so called manager.

I gave in detail the problems they were having, and what was in their future if nothing was done about it. They explained to me that it was out of their hands and they could do nothing about it so they referred me to Steve Kesner, a member of the Cresaptown Fire Company.

After I explained to him the situation, he referred me to someone else because he could do nothing about it. At this time I realized that all I was doing was chasing my tail, so I let it drop.

Three years ago, John Beckman and I set up a meeting with a special investigator with the Maryland State Police. At that time we presented them with some canceled checks that had been written out on fire company checks made out to Hamburger Haven employees.

They told us that they would investigate and get back to us. To this date we have heard nothing. About a year ago I went to the Cumberland Police station and met with a gentleman from 3CI and explained to him what was going on with the fire company and voiced my concerns about them.

He told me that they would investigate and get back in touch with me as to his findings. To this date I have heard nothing.

The point I am trying to make is that this situation cannot be a surprise to any of the Allegany County commissioners or any member of the government.

It has been like talking to a tree in trying to get someone to help with this problem. I guess it is so much easier to just say “We can’t do anything about it” than to really make any attempt to at least have it checked out.

It is common knowledge throughout the community as to what has been going on with the fire company and watching it be destroyed by one individual. There is no way that this was done legally.

So many questions need answered. Who should answer, I don’t know, but somebody needs to step up and see that justice is done.

Now I know that the building and land is scheduled to be sold this Wednesday. I keep hoping that someone with some interest could step up and try to stop this sale until at least some of these questions can be answered and maybe come up with some kind of a plan to try to save this building for our community.

William Ambrose

McCoole resident and past member

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