Budgeters in Cole County face budget gap

Nov 1, 2012

An underestimate of salaries from Cole County’s Emergency Medical Services department has a left a 72-thousand dollar gap in the budget, forcing the county to dig into its reserves.

Mike Shirts is the Cole County EMS director. He says the underestimate is due to growth in the department and trying to adjust after switching from being hospital-funded to being government-funded.

“As we grow, the service grows and expands. Prior to the county having the service, it was hospital-based and the operation, as you can expect, is entirely different. It’s a public service now. As you evolve with the service and expand and as call volume increases, so does associated operational cost,” said Shirts.

Cole County budgeters say the gap is relatively small compared to the city’s one million dollar reserves, but the gap is definitely an issue officials will keep an eye on. The county’s commissioners meet November 14th to discuss whether or not to approve the funds.

William Joy, KBIA News.