In reading the column in your paper about the budget adjustments made to the village budget especially regarding the Fire and EMS portion I felt it necessary to point out some things for the village residents.
The first gross error is the funding of reserves. We did not budget $100,000 for reserves in our 2020 budget. In the past few years the commission has been using money from the EMS reserve to offset some of the expense increase that we’d experienced with EMS staffing. To be fiscally responsible we have now started funding our reserve accounts again like we had been doing in the past. The total amount that is being put in our reserve accounts is $50,000.
At our October 9th meeting we went through the entire budget line by line including reserves and explained to the commission members the reason for the amount in each line. After discussion it was unanimously approved. That includes the vote from the village representative on the commission, Mr. McNally. In the Inter-governmental Agreement that we have in place by all 5 of the municipalities it is agreed that each will fund their portion of the Fire Commission budget. There is no clause in there that allows one municipality to decide they don’t like the way the Fire Commission budget is put together and withhold a portion of their share.
The approximate funding percentages for each of the municipalities are correct with the village funding about 25% where Oakland Funds approximately 49% and Christiana 20%. There were 535 EMS calls through October and 489 were in the district. About 42 % of those were in the village and about 23% were in Oakland and 19.5% were in Christiana. Our Inter-governmental Agreement is not funded by the amount of calls but by our equalized value.
We are continuing to seek ways to increase revenue within our EMS Service and are working diligently to accomplish this with extra effort being made in 2020 to take some of the load off of the municipalities. You don’t have to look far to find Fire and EMS Services struggling to fund a service that is absolutely necessary. It is imperative that we keep our eye on the future of our Fire and EMS service.
- Gene Kapsner, President, Cambridge Area Fire and Ems Commission