April 20, 2023
Statement From Hartsville Town Supervisor Kriste Gerhard: “The Town of Hartsville has recently become aware of a letter from Village of Canisteo to City of Hornell to attempt to hinder, disrupt, disallow Hornell from operating in the Town of Hartsville based on a technicality regarding the current Certificate of Need/ Territory dispute. The Town of Hartsville is currently listed with the Village/Town of Canisteo. The Village/Town of Canisteo never reached out to Hartsville to explain the Certificate of Need during any of the negotiations of contracts or afterwards. This comes as a complete shock. Hartsville was not included in the letter to Hornell. We were blindsided.
The Town of Hartsville is appalled to learn that the Village of Canisteo has attempted to withhold permission to operate in the town of Hartsville solely for their own gain. Upon further investigation, the Hartsville Supervisor and board learned that the Village of Canisteo has offered the letter of permission to the City of Hornell to operate in Hartsville’s territory, IF Hornell City would provide ALS Services in return for services to their Town and Village at no cost. This attempt to delay our calls, withhold permission to operate or disallow the City of Hornell to act in accordance with our ALS/BLS Contract is a despicable decision. This has the potential to cost someone a life. WE are genuinely disappointed that anyone in public service would attempt to bargain for services with the lives of our residents.
We subsequently have observed and confirmed that the Village and Town of Canisteo does not have Advance Life Support emergency medical services for their territory, especially our children/residents’ attending schools. We support Superintendent Crook in his efforts to obtain services on behalf of the school district to ensure the safety of our children, teachers, volunteers.
The Town of Hartsville Supervisor and Board will be working diligently with the City of Hornell to try to reason with the Town/ Village of Canisteo. Supervisor Kriste Gerhard is in constant contact with the attorneys and Mayor of Hornell to ensure the safety of our residents. At the City of Hornell’s most recent Common Council meeting, Hornell has committed to uninterrupted services for Hartsville while we try to navigate through this situation. For this we are greatly appreciative.
At Hartsville Town Board meeting the board passed a resolution to hire special council to pursue a certificate of need on behalf of Hartsville.”
Response From Canisteo Village Mayor Monica Recktenwald: “The Village of Canisteo is trying to work out an arrangement with the City of Hornell and wants to ensure all parties involved are following the laws and regulations that apply to EMS services.”
UPDATE: 9:08am: Statement From Mayor John Buckley:The heavy-handed tactics being used by the Canisteo Village mayor and board are despicable. Let me be perfectly clear, Village officials are not “trying to work out an arrangement with the City of Hornell” as Mayor Recktenwald falsely stated. Instead, through the use of an attorney, the mayor is threatening litigation in an effort to leverage ALS Ambulance service for the Village, while holding neighboring towns hostage.
These underhanded tactics could potentially deny neighboring towns such as Hartsville, Howard and Jasper of the important ALS Ambulance coverage the City provides.
I don’t recall Village officials objecting in the past to the free Ambulance service they have enjoyed for years courtesy of Hornell taxpayers. People’s lives are at stake. This is no time for games.