Mayor lays out ambulance costs; declining revenue hitting fund reserves hard

By BARBARA GREEN
The elimination of City of Bowie Ambulance calls outside the city limits has stirred up a storm of controversy; but, city officials say it is all about the budget and the ongoing trend of falling revenue.
In the two weeks since the Bowie City Council informed the county of the change, the rumor mill has spun a variety of tales across social media and within the community.
Some see it as a way to gradually eliminate a paid fire department and go with an all-volunteer department, and use a contract ambulance service.
There is a faction that sees it as a negotiating ploy to get the county to contribute more to its subsidy.
Last summer, city officials asked the county to increase the subsidy. It went from $18,000, which it has been for many years, to $30,000.
At Monday’s Montague County Commissioner’s Court meeting, the court indicated it is interested in working with Nocona General Hospital’s ambulance service. The hospital administrator said they need to explore the issue before making any decision.
Then others feel it is a public safety issue and there should be other places in the budget that can be reduced, including any plans for a new city complex.
The Bowie News editor sat down with Mayor Larry Slack for his view of the budget issues facing the city council today and in the near future.

Read the full news story in the weekend News.

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