Kerkhoven ambulance gets cash infusion
Kerkhoven’s ambulance service will be getting a $102,698 check from Swift County for the purchase of a new ambulance. The board of commissioners approved the payment at its meeting Nov. 19.
Commissioner Eric Rudningen, whose District 5 includes the Kerkhoven area, abstained from the vote because he is currently the director of the ambulance service for the community.
Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, moved that the county board approve the expenditure of $102,698 with a second by Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson. The motion passed with Peterson, Hendrickx, Commissioner Gary Klemm, District 2-rural north Benson, and Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, voting in favor.
The expenditure for the ambulance was in the county’s budget and is part of a rotating program that helps the Kerkhoven, Appleton and Benson ambulance services with the purchase of new vehicles.
Once every three years the county contributes funds toward the purchase of a new ambulance for one of the three communities and 2013 was Kerkhoven turn in the rotation.
Swift County started giving the three ambulance services $40,000 each toward the purchase of a new ambulance back in the 1980s. Then in the 1990s the cost of ambulances starting rising rapidly and commissioners agreed to go up 5 percent a year in their donation.
Though the donation is made every three years, the amount of the contribution still goes up 5 percent on the previous year’s base. The amount goes up more than 15 percent every three years because the interest compounds.
Following is a schedule of contributions made by the county toward the three ambulance services in the past and what the future amounts will be based on the current formula.
2004 Kerkhoven received $66,000
2007 Appleton received $76,000
2010 Benson received $88,000
2013 Kerkhoven received $102,698
2016 Appleton due $118,886
2019 Benson due $137,625
The contribution pays about 60 percent of the cost of a new ambulance, though the total cost depends on the quality and extras of the ambulance.
Photo: Recent SCBH ambulance and crew in Benson.