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Wilton ambulance department not over budget as once thought

  • The Wilton Ambulance found expected overages were in error. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • The Wilton Ambulance found expected overages were in error. Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:49AM

The Wilton Ambulance Service isn’t going to be over-budget this year after all.

The ambulance has been operating under the assumption it would be over budget this year by as much as $100,000 for the past several months, due to what was believed to be an error in formulating the budget last year.

However, according to a press release issued by the town, after consulting with the Department of Revenue Administration and assessing the Ambulance Revolving Fund, the previously expected budget overages were themselves an error.

“The Department of Revenue Administration was able to guide the town in understanding more clearly the use and maintenance of the newly established revolving funds,” according to the press release.

Ambulance Chief Steve Desrosiers declined to comment, and referred questions to Wilton Town Administrator Paul Branscombe.

Branscombe said in an interview Monday the mistake was due to not taking into account the way the ambulance now operates – through a revolving fund.

A revolving fund works by having a department – in this case the ambulance – putting in revenue, and taking out those funds for expenses. The fund is dedicated to that department’s use. Money left in the fund at the end of the year is rolled over for the following year’s use.

“We were just looking at the expenses, and not taking into account the revenue,” Branscombe said. “So, we are not over budget, as was previously believed.”

The press release stated the ambulance service is operating well within the parameters set forth for its revolving fund and is not running in a deficit. Branscombe said the department is still calculating its final revenue numbers, and declined to comment on the current state of the ambulance budget, other than to say it was not overspent.

Branscombe also said with a better understanding of the ambulance’s funding model, there will not be a need to drastically increase the ambulance budget next year, as Desrosiers had previously anticipated. 

The budget for the ambulance was approved at $409,453 in March. Desrosiers, in a recent interview, projected the budget for 2019 would have to reflect the overage he believed the ambulance was running, which would have increased the budget by about $100,000. Though the town does not have estimates for the 2019 budget, which is being put together now, Branscombe said, he doesn’t anticipate that kind of increase.

The revolving fund is a new form of budgeting for the ambulance, put into place in 2017 by vote of Town Meeting. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.