Springville residents will be paying more for a ride in the city's ambulance.

Saying it needed to increase ambulance fees in order to make the department self-supportive, the City Council raised the fees to the maximum allowed by state law.Fees will increase from $100 a call to $190. The mileage rate will also increase from $4.50 a mile to $5.50 a mile.

Before approving the increase, however, council members questioned whether the increase is justified. Councilman Glade Creer read letters from the ambulance association saying the department was operating at a deficit.

"I'd hate to see us make a big profit on the ambulance because most of the people using the service are on a fixed income," Councilman Wilford Clyde said. "But if we're going in the hole then I'd like to see it pay for itself."

Richard Manning, city manager, said the ambulance department takes in about $40,000 a year in revenue and spends about $70,000 in operating costs.

"If you're in a position where it means life or death, then $190 is not really going to mean much," Councilman Loren Phillips said.