By Jesse Wood
The Todd Fire Department lapsed on their insurance and any calls are being routed to surrounding fire departments such as Meat Camp and Deep Gap, according to Watauga County Commissioner Billy Kennedy.
“We’ve had issues with the Todd Fire Department before. This is different,” Kennedy said on Tuesday morning.
Kennedy noted that County Manager Deron Geouque attended a meeting about this situation and is expected to give the commissioners an update. Watauga County Fire Marshal Taylor Marsh deferred to Geouque, who wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Late last week, Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patty Gambill told the Jefferson Post that Creston, Fleetwood, Deep Gap and Meat Camp fire departments are now on standby to provide fire protections in and around Todd.
In 2014, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners directed the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the financial business and accounting practices of the Todd Volunteer Fire Department. The District Attorney’s Office of the 24th determined that no evidence was found of any alleged criminal activity, alleged criminal intent or criminal misconduct.
Last year, Yadkin Bank filed a civil suit against the department to collect loans exceeding $400,000 that the bank said that the department had defaulted on, according to the Jefferson Post.
See the past three years of reviews on “agreed-upon procedures” pertaining to the fire department’s finances that were conducted by Misty Watson, CPA, on behalf of Watauga County: TFD, ending June 2014 TFD, ending June 2015 TFD, ending June 2016. Below is a screen shot of some of the findings for the fiscal year ending June 2016.