Representatives of the South Texas Riders addressed the Freer City Council last Monday night regarding their fundraising efforts for Coastal Bend HALO-Flight.

Lalo Garza, president of the motorcycle club, first thanked the council for giving a recent donation to HALO-Flight.

“We started out as a club four years ago wanting to do something good for the communities -we wanted to be involved,” he explained. “So it came to me that we could help HALO-Flight. It covers 23 counties in South Texas, including Duval.”

The air ambulance emergency service provides medical transport for critically ill or injured persons requiring medical or trauma facilities.

The emergency helicopter assistance is provided to all persons regardless of their ability to pay. Since its inception in 1987 in Falfurrias, records show HALO-Flight has transported more than 7,500 patients.

“When they pick someone up, they don’t ask for insurance or any other information; they’re just going to put the person on the chopper,” Garza said. “They just focus on getting the patient to the hospital.”

He said during the first year, the Texas Riders raised $7,000 for HALO-Flight, followed by 10,000 the second year.

“The third year another $10,000 was raised, for a total of $27,000 in three years from our club,” he said.

Afterward, Garza offered Guardian Plan information to the council.

According to the plan, covered members are not charged out-of-pocket expenses for HALO-Flight transports that are deemed medically necessary. The cost of an average emergency helicopter transport exceeds $7,000.

Individual or family subscriptions are $49 annually. Corporate and organization subscriptions are $39 annually.

Following the presentation, Garza was invited by the council to attend the city’s Freedom Fest on July 5. Garza said he would check out the possibility of a HALO-Flight demonstration being held for the public.

Afterward, amendments to the 2008 city budget were unanimously approved by the council.

In other business, an order of election designating Tuesday, April 29 and Thursday, May 1 as early voting dates by personal appearance, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. was approved.

Approved as Election Day Judge was Aida Garza, Patty Rangel as Election Day Judge Assistant, Rene Garza as Ballot Board Judge and Roel Charo as Central Counting Ballot Judge.

Approved as Election Clerks were Sylvia Munoz, Barbara Barrera and Sylvia Saenz.

After review, members unanimously voted to approve an amended ordinance designed for the purpose of the cleaning and maintenance of property determined to have permanent or temporary sanitary condition existing in violation of various health and sanitation ordinances; further determined to be in violation of the sanitation ordinance of the city, endangering the safety and well being of the citizens.

Attending the meeting were Manuel “Rolita” Estrada, Carlos Salinas, Andrea Bierstedt, Sylvia Carrillo, Orlando Navarro, Cindy Lackey and Arnoldo Cantu.