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EMS working on final 2023 financials

The Williams County commissioners received an update from EMS staff Tuesday and likely will receive a full report next month on the 2023 financials.

“We are working pretty aggressively to have the most up-to-date (information),” EMS Chief Kyle Brigle said. “Because when we put the last levy presentation together it was like two to three years worth of data.”

That levy failed in November, but the commissioners have agreed to consider putting another one on the ballot.

There was discussion on the possibility of eliminating non-emergency transports in the future, though no decision was made. Doing those transports, especially late at night when only two ambulances are in service, takes away a vehicle that might be needed if there is an emergency, but the revenue stream may be hard to pass up.

“In 2022, we had 673 non-emergency transports with an average income of $350 per transport,” said EMS Assistant Chief Jessie Brumbaugh. “So around $235,000 (for the year).”

Commissioner Terry Rummel was initially in favor of eliminating non-emergency transports, but added later it would be difficult to remove that revenue.

There was brief discussion on changing the way those transports are handled, either with different hours being available or with a different vehicle, but no decision was made. There are agencies that offer such transportation, but it can be difficult to arrange in a timely manner.

Staff reported the income for January for EMS was $207,000, including a $500 donation from the Knights of Columbus from a golf outing.

However, expenses were $230,000, resulting in a negative balance for the month. It was pointed out the balance would have been closer to even but the 2023 fourth quarter payments to Medicare had to be paid this month and an annual payment for software needed made.

Brigle pointed out expenses in February may come in a little high as well because EMS uses that month to catch back up on restocking medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. It avoids doing so in December because the budget is getting low at that point.

In other business:

Discussion was held on whether the mandatory uniforms are tax exempt. EMS buys two sets of uniforms for personnel each year through the county, but was recently told by the county auditor that employees need to pay the tax on those. The issue will be researched further.

Discussion was held on new trucks that have been ordered. Final parts should be delivered March 13 and the county still owes $254,000 on the trucks.

Brigle said he would like to advertise for a front office worker to replace one that has left. The commissioners gave permission to advertise.

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