A new ambulance for the western district will be put out for bid -- but who will own it?

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fact: The Western Carroll County Ambulance District (WCCAD) approved at its June 11 meeting putting out for bid a new ambulance, to be stationed at Holiday Island.

Fact: Holiday Island's Board of Commissioners (HISID) agreed at its business meeting Monday night to accept said ambulance.

But there the facts end, as it remains unclear whether HISID or WCCAD will "own" the ambulance. HISID already owns an ambulance it purchased from WCCAD in 2002. WCCAD got out of the ambulance ownership business because of a lawsuit alleging its ambulances were being used for patients who were not paying the 2-mil property tax to have an ambulance service (i.e., Eureka Springs residents).

Holiday Island Fire Chief Jack Deaton said Monday he understood HISID will own both ambulances and will house, license, insure and maintain them. Its current ambulance will be used as a backup unit, most likely housed at Beaver Fire Station.

WCCAD Commissioner Fred Pierson of Holiday Island said by telephone Monday night he was not sure that was the understanding of WCCAD.

"Nothing's been set in stone," he said, "except to write up the bid."

WCCAD Chairman Scott Link, who was absent when the vote was taken to put the new ambulance out for bid, said by telephone, "It is something we will have to have our attorneys look at, to make sure we are using taxpayer money legally."

WCCAD is set to meet July 9 at 2 p.m. in the Holiday Island district office at 105 Woodsdale Drive.

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