The Logan County Board's liaison, Dr. David Hepler, and several
other county board members — Jan Schumacher, Andy Anderson and
Kevin Bateman — were also in attendance to review with the
Board of Health the health department's financial condition.
The intended purpose of the specially called meeting was to amend
the recently passed 2014 budget to allow that the Illinois Breast
and Cervical Cancer program would be kept running. The state wanted
the county to keep that program going and agreed to provide an
additional $42,000 to keep it going through June next year.
It had been a difficult decision during the budget process, but
it was ultimately decided that the newly established dental clinic
would be kept open this year, as well.
About a dozen guests were also present, including health
department workers from the IBCC program, dental clinic employees
and a union representative from AFSCME.
The review began with a chart of the past 10 years with three
lines. The top line showed the end-of-year general fund balance in
comparison with the tax levy the department has received, which was
dropped to $1 in 2005, but otherwise runs just under $400,000 per
year: $366,854 for the county health department for 2014. The chart
also showed the reimbursements to the county as just over $400,000
now, which is higher than the levy received.
Hilliard added more definition that emphasized the importance of
the declining fund balance, which at the end of this fiscal year is
coming in at a 10-year low of $670,000. The department's monthly
payroll is $60,000.
The health department's programs are primarily supported through
grant funding. Hilliard explained some of the interplay between
grant funding, payroll and fund balance. Some grants do not fully
fund a program; others may not allow for certain payroll costs, or
they may require some sort of matching amount; and most grant
funding is released in annual or six-month increments. Additionally,
the state has a tendency to get behind in its payments.
Given all the factors and the decline of the reserves, Hilliard
said that some serious decisions would need to be made soon.
Board president Mike Rohrer supported Hilliard's statements.
"We're losing money every year," Rohrer said. "How long can we
afford to lose money is anybody's guess. But I'd venture to say,
revenues are not going to increase; expenses are. We already crossed
that 'Mendoza Line' where we're in the negative."
With this year's end-of-year balance at $669,806 and next year
projected at $545,929, Rohrer agreed that "some tough decisions have
to be made."
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Primary reasons for the rapidly decreasing fund balance were
discussed at different points in the meeting.
One of the greater influences for the department has been a
significant drop in revenues from the Home Health Care program,
which once brought in $1 million and now is under $500,000 a year in
revenues. The decline in the program is related to changes passed
down from the state, such as who qualifies for care and patients are
Also, the department’s operational expenses have increased.
Beginning in 2009, the county started handing more of the employment
expenses to the department, and some of those continue to rise, the
biggest cost being IMRF, budgeted at more than $150,000 in fiscal
2014, along with unemployment, FICA, property tax and payroll
The amendment to add $242,174 to the 2014 budget for the
continued running of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer program
On a brighter note, "grant-funded programs currently in progress
are pretty steady, solid now," Hilliard said.
With the meeting coming to a close and board members being asked
if they had any questions that the health board might answer, Kevin
Bateman hemmed and hawed, and then said he just had to ask what the
tanning and body art grants were about, which brought a chuckle from
Most grant titles indicate the type of service that would be
provided. He was told that those grants are to inspect local
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]
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