Without an intervening action, about 4,000 residents outside the city limits of Sturgis, S.D., will be without ambulance service as of midnight today (July 15), accoridng to the Rapid City Journal.
That is when current Sturgis Ambulance Service service boundaries will automatically be redrawn, because of an April 15 decision by the Sturgis City Council that drastically reduces areas of ambulance coverage outside of the city limits, including a number of campgrounds that serve thousands of visitors during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
On the agenda, however, for tonight’s Sturgis City Council meeting is a proposal to delay changing the boundaries to allow more time to find a potential solution to ongoing budget shortfalls for the ambulance service.
“What I’m hoping for is that people bring solutions forward that make sense, and service can remain the same,” Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said. “It’s got to have some pretty strong commitment and sensible plans, because we’ve been working on this a long time.”
Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said the Sturgis ambulance operated at an estimated $85,000 deficit in 2018 in spite of the city appropriating $100,000 for the service for each of the past five years.
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