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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bend to vote on ambulance service

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Staff Writer

Horseshoe Bend voters will go to the polls Dec. 14 to decide if Horseshoe Bend will be included in the Izard County ambulance service contract.

If the ordinance is approved, Arkansas Emergency Transport will start ambulance service next year in Horseshoe Bend.

The service will cost each Horseshoe Bend household $50 per year. Last year Izard County voters approved the $50 supplemental tax to fund ambulance service in the county.

If voters reject the measure, Horseshoe Bend may be without ambulance service.

The Izard County Quorum Court passed an ordinance Nov. 8 calling for a special election after the Horseshoe Bend City Council passed a motion requesting that the Quorum Court take such action.

The council passed the motion after Horseshoe Bend's current ambulance service provider, Baxter Regional Ambulance Service, chose not to renew its contract after February 2005.

Mayor Bob Spear said at a recent council meeting that the city is faced with few options.

"The service provided by Baxter has been great, but they're losing money and cannot continue service in Horseshoe Bend," said Spear.

Baxter Regional Ambulance Service has provided service in Horseshoe Bend for the last 3 1/2 years.

Spear said Baxter Regional lost $190,000 in Horseshoe Bend in 2003. He said Baxter Regional has reported losses of over $400,000 since it began operating in the Horseshoe Bend area.

Horseshoe Bend city attorney Jim Short said the Izard County Quorum Court established the Izard County EMS District in 1980. Horseshoe Bend asked for and received an exemption from the district.

Spear said Horseshoe Bend received an exemption because it had a volunteer EMS in place. The volunteer EMS was disbanded in 2000.

After the volunteer EMS dissolved, Baxter Regional Ambulance service began service in Horseshoe Bend.

Spear said if the ordinance is approved Horseshoe Bend will be a part of the Izard County EMS District permanently.

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