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With a third of the fiscal year gone, the budgets for rescue and E-911 are right on track.
The joint city and county Rescue/E-911 Committee met on Tuesday night to discuss the status of the budget, vehicle maintenance and overtime.
The Committee is made up of Magistrates Ed Gorin and Richard Phillips, who serves as chair of the committee, and City Council Members Mike Hall Jr. and Greg Rice.
Also attending were Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers, Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young, E-911 Supervisor Anne Sanders and Campbellsville/Taylor County EMS Director Allen Bottoms.
Hall was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting because one of his children was sick.
To begin the meeting, Young asked if the Committee would like to decide how often it should meet.
“It’s extremely important for this Committee to give us guidance for future direction,” Young said.
Phillips suggested meeting every three months, since that is how often the county pays the city for operating Rescue and E-911.
The city operates Campbellsville Fire and Rescue and the Campbellsville/Taylor County E-911 Center. Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue and Campbellsville Fire merged earlier this year, and the EMS operation was renamed.
The deficits of operating Rescue and E-911 services will be split equally between both governments for the next four years.
Young presented the Committee with budget figures from July through October, reflecting 33 percent of this fiscal year having passed.
At the end of October, according to the figures, 30.7 percent of the E-911 budget and 30.2 of the Rescue budget has been spent.
“We’re under budget 3 percent,” Young said. “We only spent 30.2 percent of the budget. To me, that’s really good.”
He said an $800,000 deficit was anticipated to operate Rescue services this fiscal year. But at of the end of October, he said, the Rescue deficit was $53,408.05.
“A third of what we should have,” Young said.
When subtracting the county’s payment for July through October, that deficit is about $175,000, which is still less than anticipated.
“I’m trying to show you we’re in really good shape,” Young said. “It’s good news. We’re doing very well.”
If finances continue as they are now, he said, he anticipates even more good news by the end of the fiscal year.
Current budget calculations don’t factor in the elimination of paying EMS workers hazardous duty pay.
“You’re just starting to see the results of that savings through the budget year,” he said.
Moving to maintenance of EMS vehicles, Young said the city has spent $5,706 more for repairs this year than compared to the same time period last year, for a 23 percent increase.
He said that’s why he came up with a plan to purchase a new vehicle every two years. Three vehicles will be paid off by next May, he said, which will save about $8,000 a month.
If a $6,000 payment for a new vehicle is added each month, he said, the city will still be saving about $2,000 a month and have a new vehicle every two years.
“You can see we can easily afford that with all them dropping off,” he said.
Phillips said he likes the idea of a vehicle purchasing rotation.
“When you have a problem, the best thing to figure out is a long-term plan, and it sounds like you’ve done that,” he said.
Bottoms said he has had some problems with vehicles that have cost lots to repair.
He said he tries to do all repair work locally to save money and give business to local people.
Young said the E-911 center has been using more overtime than in the past, and, as a result, the city is advertising to hire another dispatcher.
He said it takes about eight months to train a dispatcher.
Sanders said about six have been hired in the past year, with only one having made it through the training.
“It’s really difficult, once you get into the job,” she said.
Sanders said the job is very stressful, and that the number of calls the center receives has increased as cell phones become much more common.
“It’s just a lot that you have to deal with,” she said.
While salary pay at the E-911 center currently falls within its budget, Sanders said efforts are still being made to cut that cost.
She said equipment at the center has to be replaced about every four years. She said equipment is considered completely outdated every five years. The center has seen three complete equipment changes, she said.
The center currently has nine full-time staff and one part-time worker.
Sanders said knowing that their decisions can impact whether a person lives or dies is sometimes more than workers can handle.
“It’s a totally different world,” she said.
Since the merger of Rescue and Fire, Sanders said, the center has seen some changes, but is adapting well.
Bottoms agreed, and said employee morale is good.
“I think things are going pretty well,” he said.
The Committee will next meet in January. That meeting will be open to the public.