ANTIGO - The city of Antigo doesn't want to run an ambulance service anymore. It's just too expensive. Instead, the city's new hospital may take over.
"We have a great ambulance service now and that's our biggest concern here is being able to maintain that... As with a lot of people our problem is financial," said City of Antigo's Mayor, Bill Brandt.
Each year it costs around 2 million dollars to run the ambulance service for Antigo and 10 surrounding townships.
About half of that is paid by the city and county through taxes... The other half is paid by the user fees.
The challenge is, those costs keep rising.
"It's a very costly service because the costs go up every year. Ambulances get more expensive, supply costs go up, gas prices rise in terms of transportation, so prices rise every year," said Dave Schneider, Executive Director of Langlade Hospital.
Schneider says, if no other provider steps forward, the hospital could take over service. They would be able to provide the same level of care without additional cost to taxpayers.
If the hospital does take over service the city of Antigo has a lot of changes to consider, including the future of the fire department. Right now the fire department runs the ambulance service, if the hospital takes over, they would become a volunteer fire department.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
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