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Fundraising continues to extend ambulance service to rural areas


Gary Matthews - September 4, 2019

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis City Council got their first update from a group working to raise money for rural residents to save city-owned ambulance service.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the group announced they had raised more than $8,000 so far, not including some campgrounds that had yet to report.

"They have reported that they have rasied more than $8,000 and there are several campgrounds that had collection buckets during the rally that have not reported how much they collected so far. Hopefully, once they report that and turn that in, we'll see that number go up."

Ainslie says the group also reports they plan to begin another phase of their fundraising operation.

"On Thursday, they are going to be meeting to start stuffing envelopes to go to the roughly 4,000 people that live out there to ask them for donations as well. So, with that, hopefully they're going to continue their momentum."

In July, the council voted to extend the deadline to shut off city owned ambulance service to the rural areas to December 31. That came after emotional testimony from those who promised to make a good faith effort to help pay for the service.

The city was proposing redrawing their response district because those areas currently served by the ambulance service are outside city limits and don’t pay the fee city residents do. That fee is included in residents’ property taxes.

The city asked the group to try and raise $30,000 by November 18th. That is half of what the city says it loses in a year by serving those areas.



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