December 26, 2001 11:00 pm

Union County is expected to designate the City of La Grande as the countys ambulance provider next week.

The county commissioners will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday on the citys application. Commissioner Colleen MacLeod said the commissioners probably will vote on the request unless there is overwhelming opposition to the proposal. The city was the only ambulance provider to submit a proposal.

The county may ask the city to appoint a citizen ambulance review board.

Ambulance service is now provided by Grande Ronde Hospital, but the hospital has said it will end service in mid-January.

The hospital and the city have been negotiating a transfer since last spring, and the transition is expected to go smoothly with no break in service.