CCAD finances improve in past year

Posted January 24, 2013 at 12:00 am

In the year since the Cedar County Ambulance District contracted with Citizens Memorial Hospital to provide ambulance service in the county, the district has gained nearly $139,000 in net worth. In addition, Citizens Memorial paid the Cedar County Sheriff’s department $48,000 to dispatch the ambulances.

The total gain for the citizens of Cedar County in 2012 was nearly $187,000. This increase came despite a $14,000 decrease in tax revenue.

The gain came from reduced costs because of services Citizens Memorial provides free to the district in addition to the money it pays for dispatching and from the $13,187 in FRA discount money CMH gave to the district. (According to its bid, St. John’s would have kept the FRA money. CMH offered to give it to the district. The FRA money is expected to be up to five times more in 2013 which would put it close to the $70,000 both St. John’s and CMH estimated in their bids on providing ambulance service.)

During the year, the CCAD added equipment to the two back up ambulances so that the district now has four fully equipped ambulances ready to roll. In fact, the crews routinely alternate running all four ambulances so “the mileage doesn’t stack up so quick on one unit,” Board Chairman Leroy Sousley told the Sun.

The district spent $25,000 on new radios for ambulance personnel.

In the cash on hand ($586,469.66), $50,000 is in board-designated funds, up from $20,000 last year. Sousley said that the board set aside the $50,000 to pay for any petition recall election and for a petition audit which some of the patrons in the county said they were going to do.

The board had two major unanticipated ambulance expenses – one lost a transmission and the cam shaft went out on another. The repair bill on the two ambulances came to about $12,000 even with Citizens Memorial doing the work and purchasing the parts at a big savings.

The district got a lot of that back in savings because CMH does the vehicle maintenance free if the cost is below $1,500 per incident. That saved the district about $7,500 in 2012.

Contract labor for bookkeeping, mowing and plumbing was down about $2,700 for the year. CMH takes care of the mowing.

There is sort of a mystery in the total fuel costs for 2012 and 2013. In 2012, the total fuel expenses (and the only vehicles the CCAD has are the four ambulances) was $36,051.26. Even with the increase in fuel prices, the total fuel bill for 2013 was only $323.95 higher – $36,375.21. The big difference was that in 2012 there was a “Fuel Expenses – Other” category that was $11,153.16. In 2013 that category was $0. Chairman Sousley said that he figures that the more than $11,000 expense was credit card purchases charged to the district.

In 2012, fuel expenses for the El Dorado Springs ambulance operation were $12,195.20. In 2013, The El Dorado fuel expenses were $18,378.43.

In 2012, the fuel expenses for the Stockton ambulance operation were $12,702.90. In 2013, the Stockton fuel expenses were $17,996.78.

Sousley said, “Our only reason for existence as an ambulance district is to provide the ambulance service our citizens need and expect at as reasonable a cost as possible. The board is trying its best to do that for Cedar County.”