Income Uncertainties Lead To Unbalanced Budget For Health Department

In their recent meeting, the Bond County Board of Health passed what Public Health Administrator Mark Ayers called a “very tentative budget.” Ayers said the budget has a lot of questions regarding income uncertainty.

“It is a budget which has a lot of questions about income uncertainty and that is truly unfortunate,” he said. “The finance committee and myself are disappointed, but had no alternative than to develop an unbalanced and deficit budget to be presented. There are just so many questions-like $192K in grants directly tied to the General Revenue Fund that we are 1) unsure of receiving in the amount of $57K covering psychiatry costs and 2) unsure of when we will begin to receive reimbursement for expenses for a program which we’ve had for years-that grant is $134K. Our FY16 grant dollars paid to date are minimal and we’ve incurred expenses since the beginning of the state fiscal year. Although we’ve reduced our expenses, our income is expected to be less. We were informed of more than $33K in grant cuts for this next year. In the state FY15 we received over $750K.”

Ayers told us that at this point, “there are still a lot of question marks. Expenditures have been reduced by about $31,000, but in the behavioral health fund, they have grown by $46,000. And our revenues are also expected to be down by about $130,000. Home Health and Hospice budgets are balanced with the health department in the $900K range-providing for much needed resources in the other programs. We plan on using cash reserves to weather this storm, although this is not a sustainable plan indefinitely and a way you want to operate for very long. I hope the projection changes and I can amend the budget when additional information is received from Springfield. Additionally, we are just coming out of a consulting project and have great anticipation for our behavioral health to add revenue streams through insurance in the future.”

Ayers noted the success of the home health and hospice programs has allowed the department to pay down much of the $3.2 million price tag of their building, which was constructed in 2009. The health board has a remaining $472,000 to pay of the initial amount.