MECHANICSBURG – Village Council on Monday approved the 2016 permanent appropriations budget as presented by Fiscal Officer Dan Eck.

The budget shows the village bringing in an estimated total revenue this year of $2,089,852.81, while expenses are projected to be $2,235,900.09.

Eck said the deficit of $146,047.28 is a result of various factors including the need to pay back 50 percent or $103,000 of an Ohio Water Development Authority planning loan for the Water Treatment Plant Project, as well as payment for the 21 SCBAs (air packs) purchased recently by the Mechanicsburg Fire & EMS through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. Eck said the village received the funds for the air packs in 2015, but they weren’t delivered until this year.

Eck noted five funds no longer being used by the village will be closed out in 2016, and any remaining money in these funds will be transferred. The closing of the funds appear as expenses in the budget, he added.

“(The appropriations) have been reviewed by all the department heads,” Eck said. “We can always change it as we go.”

The village’s total fund balance at the beginning of 2017 is projected to be $1,765,716.97.

Maintenance issue, EMS billing revenue down

A decision on whether to sell the village’s SaltDogg spreader to the village of Richwood was tabled after Mayor Greg Kimball said the apparatus, which wasn’t being used prior to the latest snowfall, was put into service due to the snow plow being down with a transmission issue.

“We need a new truck,” Council member Scott Salee said.

Kimball added the transmission should be covered under warranty.

In a separate matter, Kimball noted he and EMS Chief Steve Castle recently met with a representative of Medicount, the company that handles the village’s EMS billing.

“Although our number of runs were up last year, our total revenue for run billing declined by about $23,000,” Kimball said. “Our return per run went from $416 to $312.”

Kimball informed council the Affordable Care Act is the primary reason for the decrease in revenue.

“The insurance companies are doing all they can to cut back, so they are paying less for the services,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what we bill. It’s what they will pay.”

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.