STURGIS, S.D. – It’s official. Rural Meade County residents currently served by the Sturgis Ambulance Service will decide in March whether or not to form a rural ambulance tax district.
It’s an important vote. It could mean whether or not the rural area outside Sturgis city limits continues to see ambulance service from the city.
Rural residents turned in enough signatures to set up the vote.
Meade County Commissioners will hold a hearing on January 28th to officially set the election. The proposed election day is a Monday in order for the county commission to canvass the votes at their regular meeting the next day.
Those living in the rural areas just outside Sturgis and are served by the city-owned ambulance service can vote. Residents of Sturgis and the town of Buffalo Chip will not vote.
The March 23rd election will be held at the Sturgis Community Center, although absentee ballots can also be filled out starting February 6th.
If rural residents approve the tax district, there will be another election to set up a board of directors.
Rural residents will have the power to set up their own district – and that can include keeping and helping pay for the Sturgis Ambulance Service or setting up one of their own.
Residents of Sturgis are taxed for the ambulance service, but the rural residents outside the city and are currently served by the service do not. That led to the City of Sturgis to force the hand of rural residents to help find a way to pay for the service or lose it.