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Sturgis Council hears housing study; passes lift-assist ambulance policy

STURGIS, S.D. – The city of Sturgis got an update Monday on a housing study conducted by Community Partners Research, Inc.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the study showed Sturgis is growing tremendously – adding that more housing is desperately needed.

“The study showed we have continued, tremendous demand in everything from rental housing to town homes to single family to a very significant need for senior housing,” says Ainslie.

Ainslie says they need to get additional lots and more developers to step up.

“The study had several different numbers and matrix to kind of show the exact need that Sturgis has for different types of housing.”

Now, the city and its economic development corporation are reaching out to several developers to seek their imput and see if they are interested in filling some of the city’s needs.

The council on Monday also passed a new policy to begin charging lift-assistance calls.

Ainslie says the vast majority of these cases go to individuals who have several calls a week.

“If you take out rally calls, lift-assist make up about five-percent of our total calls,” Ainslie says. “The vast majority of lift-assist go to individuals who end up requiring severa lift-assists each week and some people actually a couple of times a day. So with that, often times, there is a signficiant cost.”

Ainslie says these are not billable calls because insurance won’t cover unless the individual is actually taken to the hospital for treatment.

So, the new policy will forgive the first lift assist in a calendar year, but the next lift-assist will cost the receiving patient $50 and then the third and every one thereafter will cost $100.

A lift-assistance situation is when a person has an inability to get up and receives a primary assessment by EMS staff.

Ainslie says neither staff nor ambulance staff will have the authority to waive a fee. Rather, a patient may formally request a fee waiver from the full City Council.

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