Tempers flared at a Minnehaha County Commission meeting on Tuesday. The owner of ambulance provider MED-Star came to the meeting to request a $50,000 subsidy. However, when Minnehaha County commissioners started asking for more information on his business, things got heated.
“What we have done is exactly what your county commissioners asked us to do. You guys, I hate to say it this way, you pawned us off on everybody else. Go see if you can find funding every place else. We did that,” Jay Masur, Owner of MED-Star, said.
MED-Star Ambulance came back to Minnehaha County Commissioners asking for help subsidizing services. Masur got upset when commissioners asked to see more financial information.
“You know, honestly you guys have given us information for just the piece of the business you want to talk about. Which is not the kind of information we receive from all the other ambulance services. They give a full profit and loss,” County Commission Chairwoman Jean Bender said.
“If my private business was a grocery store, and that was funding the ambulance service, do you have a right to see what I make at my grocery store? The answer is no, you don’t,” Masur said.
Masur claims the losses his business takes from serving 911 calls is impacting his family’s finances.
Commissioner Gerald Beninga questioned how the county would really impact those struggles.
“When I look at your profit and loss statement, you’re showing a $507,000 loss. And you’re saying that $50,000 is going to make that operational change enough so that you can stay in operation,” Beninga said.
“And I do understand. I appreciate your willingness to look after the tax-payers’ dollars. I totally get it, Gerald. Mr. Beninga. I totally get it. But I’m not here to scold anybody. I’m here to tell you why it is we’re standing here. This is embarrassing for me,” Masur said.
In the end, the commissioners agreed MED-Star was a vital service. But to Masur’s disappointment, they did not make a decision.
“No vote?” asked Masur.
“There’s no motion at this time,” Commissioner Jeff Barth said.
“No motion. No vote. Bull ****,” Masur said.