Sturgis considering advance payments from campgrounds for emergency services during the rally
STURGIS, SD — The city of Sturgis is considering an annual fee for campgrounds if they want to receive emergency services in this year’s motorcycle rally.
In the city’s proposal, all campgrounds outside of the city’s limits would be issued a fee ranging from $300 to $5,100, depending on the number of ambulance calls made to the campground during the 2018 rally.
The proposed annual fee would help cover the lost revenue of over $25,000 in unpaid ambulance bills from last year’s rally. At a Feb. 19 meeting with campground owners, Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said that the city ambulance service responded to 60 calls from the campgrounds, a third of which were refused when services arrived.
This refusal rate is more than three times the normal amount for the department. Refusals mean that the department receives no payment for the resources used in responding to the call. Last year’s lost revenue to rally campground calls totaled $25,095.
The city of Sturgis is open to other proposals for funding the ambulance services, but none have yet been submitted. If no other proposals are submitted before March 15, the city will proceed with its proposal of the annual fee. Campgrounds that do not pay this fee by May 15 will not be included in the response area, and would not be eligible for emergency services.