Sturgis sees less profit for 2019 Rally, furthers discussion on new ambulance district

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The financial report for the 2019 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and discussion about a proposed ambulance district were two hard-hitting topics at the Sturgis City Council meeting on Monday evening.

Sturgis City Council gets an update from the Sturgis Ambulance Group on plans for new ambulance district (KOTA TV).

The Sturgis Rally brought in a total of $2,022,931 this year.

The City spent more than $1.53 million overall, about $200,000 more than it spent the previous year.

The total net profit slightly decreased from 2018 totaling out at $1.1 million.

With the City's net revenue appearing to be very small, estimated in the range of $300,000, they stated in a document that "it leaves little funding for either enhancing the product that Sturgis offers Rally visitors, or for the annual impacts on the city such as vacant property, or excess infrastructure capacity."

The Council also heard from residents who are hopeful about creating a new ambulance district.

Months after the Council made a motion to stop any ambulance response outside city limits due to financial reasons, these residents have been fundraising in hopes of forming their own ambulance district.

The City extended its ambulance service until Dec 31 with a few stipulations.

One, that the residents would report monthly about how much money they have raised.

Then, turn over $30,000 to Sturgis Ambulance.

Lastly present the council with a plan on how they will continue funding the ambulance service.

The newly formed Sturgis Ambulance group says this fundraising will only last so long.

"At five years from now, are we still going to be doing this? At 15 years from now, are we still going to be fundraising? We need a permanent solution and really the only viable alternative is to go ahead and form an ambulance district," said Ross Lamphere, a member of the Sturgis Ambulance group.

The Rural Sturgis Ambulance Group will meet this week and review what they have done up to this point.

They need close to 300 signatures for a petition in order to put the ambulance issue on the ballot in the district.

Lamphere said the group is hopeful they will be able to achieve that.

They have close to $18,000 in the bank now.