August 8, 2017

Crafting a preliminary budget

By Daniel Arens

As the Mercer County Ambulance Board continues its effort to get past and present finances squared away, it must also determine how the upcoming budget is going to shape up.
“We’re still so far in the hole that I kind of went to town with it,” Marcy Sailer, ambulance co-manager, said. She said she looked hard at places where cuts could be made but, despite finding some areas, the service is still roughly $40,000 in the red.
The final budget for the service is not set. The ambulance board, however, had to approve a preliminary budget at their July 24 meeting, since this is the last meeting they will have before presenting the proposed budget to the Mercer County Commission the afternoon of Aug. 16.
One of the major challenges the service faces, according to bookkeeper Marcia Steffen, is a new depreciation rating for vehicles. Previously, the service started depreciating vehicles after 10 years. However, a guide calls for depreciation beginning at four years, a change that would reduce the ambulance service’s assets by roughly $75,000
Steffen said the auditor strongly recommended this guide be followed and the ambulance board change how it depreciates vehicles.


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