Skiatook Ambulance Service Decision To Cost Sperry Residents

Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 6:33 pm

By: Craig Day

Sperry stands to lose its ambulance service, and the residents will likely see bigger bills.

Right now, Skiatook's ambulance service covers nearby Sperry. But that won't be the case, as of April 1.

"They've been working with us, and I want to thank them for doing that, and giving us an opportunity, particularly, to look at options," said Sperry Mayor Debbie Lamberson Eastin.

Lamberson Eastin said Skiatook will save about $67,000 a year in its budget by making the move, but it means an unexpected additional cost for her community.

The Mayor estimated the total increased cost between $40,000 and $90,000.

"That's a lot of money and a lot of difference in the services provided," Lamberson Eastin said.

Those figures are based on bids submitted by Country Corner Fire and Ambulance and from Owasso.

The less expensive cost from Country Corner would average about $33 per resident, but it is a volunteer department.

Owasso would cost $75 each year per resident, but its ambulance service is full time.

"We'll be okay, either way. It's just making a decision on what way we're going to go and what the ultimate cost is," Lamberson Eastin said.

Either way, it's going to cost Sperry's 1,200 residents more money, which concerns Sperry residents like Bill and Shera Parker.

"If they are already on a fixed income, now they have to pay a lot more. I can see where it would affect them," Bill said.

"It's important to have it, but I don't know, it's going to be hard on a lot of people," Shera said.

In the short term, Sperry leaders will meet Thursday night to decide whether to accept one of those bids. The city will also look into the costs and benefits of possibly creating its own ambulance service, and if there are grants to pay for it, but that's a much more long term approach that may not be affordable.

Any increased cost for Sperry residents will likely be added to utility bills. There is still the possibility of making a financial proposal to keep Skiatook's ambulance service.

EMSA was also asked to submit a bid to Sperry, but they declined.


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