City might cancel ambulance service to Turner County

By Garrett Ammesmaki

The Lennox City Commission kicked off this week’s meeting with a declaration to make Sunday, June 26th, Reverend Hugh Brewer Day. The move is to honor his 28 years as pastor of First English Lutheran Church, as well as his contributions to the Lennox community.

Mayor Stacy DuChene referred to Brewer as playing a “critical role” in service and development of the Lennox community, as well as being “a respected community leader.”

City Commissioners approved the agenda and briefly touched on the Good Samaritan Society property, but most of the June 13 meeting was spent discussing private parties at the public pool and the possibility of ending ambulance services to Turner County.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that Turner County and Chancellor have little to no interest in receiving Emergency Medical Services from the Lennox Ambulance Service,” said City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats in a June 7 memo to the mayor.

The Lennox ambulance service has been asked to run standby for the Turner County Fair, but there has already been an issue with Lennox not receiving pay from Turner County for current service, Vander Plaats said during the meeting.

“It’s almost a slap in the face to our people that they’d want us to come out and sit at their fair, but they won’t pay us for the services we already provide,” Commissioner Chad Reilly said.

Vander Plaats said they had an informational meeting in Chancellor on June 1 to discuss the issue, but were met with “limited attendance.”

As of now, Lennox ambulance services three miles into Turner County, Vander Plaats said. Letters would be drafted and sent to residents of Turner County that would be left without ambulance service if the City Commission goes through with the cancellation of coverage for the area.

“My intent at this point is to give our friends in Turner County until July 10,” Vander Plaats said in the memo. “If [a petition to add an ambulance district to the November ballot in Turner County] is not received, my recommendation is to move forward with an ambulance district that only serves Lincoln County.”

No decision was formalized at tonight’s commission meeting, but Reilly did ask if Lennox had an “ethical obligation or moral obligation,” to continue servicing the area.

“I don’t believe we do,” Vander Plaats said.

Commissioner Britney Mower brought up issues with a lack of notice of private parties at the public swimming pool being unfair for people who have bought family passes for the summer.