The Pierre City Commission approved its portion of a $415,000 contract with American Medical Response (AMR) to continue ambulance services within the City of Pierre. The contract is held jointly between AMR, the Cities of Pierre and Fort Pierre, and Hughes and Stanley Counties.
“We continue to take a team approach to subsidize ambulance services in the area,” said Pierre Mayor Steve Harding. “Pierre will pay $166,000 in 2023 to provide the service within our city limits. Our partner agencies will pick up the remaining costs.”
Per the contract, Hughes County will pay for 36% of the contract, and Fort Pierre and Stanley County will cover the rest at 13% and 11% respectively. The contract has a 3% annual inflator and is good through the end of 2027.
Pierre City Commissioner Vona Johnson says that although the contract is written for five years, there’s still potential for contract amendments.
“We needed to get something in place to continue service in 2023, but the four government entities are discussing other payment structures. The longer-term affordability is a concern for some of the partner agencies.”
An ambulance district allows a special property tax assessment to cover the cost of ambulance services and was under consideration earlier this year. Creation of an ambulance district was printed on the November ballot for Hughes County voters. However, the ballot issue was nullified when Stanley County decided it was no longer interested in pursuing an ambulance district.
“The approval of tonight’s contract gives us two very important things –continued high-quality ambulance service, and time to continue talking about longer-term solutions,” said Comm. Vona Johnson. “I suspect we’ll talk about the issue many times over before this contract expires.”