Thursday, July 11th, 2013
By Shelley Grieshop
Health department's fiscal woes easing
  CELINA - The local health department has a balance of $139,000 more this year than in 2012, thanks to a cost-cutting strategy and other factors.
Revenue for the Mercer County-Celina City Health Department since January totals $604,920 - an increase of $157,237 over the same six-month period in 2012. Expenses are $453,203, an increase of $18,597 above last year.
During the same period last year the department reported just $13,077 in revenue over expenses.   
"This is real positive news from where we were a year ago," Mercer County-Celina City Health Department Administrator Dale Palmer told board members Wednesday.
The health department's 2013 general fund budget is $1.046 million, which is padded by a $123,000 carryover from 2012.
Health officials last year adopted a financial contingency plan after voters in November 2011 defeated a 0.6-mill, countywide property tax levy to support the agency. The levy would have generated $530,274 annually or 48 percent of the budget. The contingency plan cut salaries by 7 percent, terminated holiday pay and cut employees' work week by one hour.  
Also helping to keep the agency in better financial standing is a new program that allows the staff to bill clients' private insurance companies for services such as immunizations. Reimbursement amounts to the health department have increased and arrive faster, officials said. More than half the agency's clients are now billed, recent data shows.
Officials this year also welcomed a revenue increase from the county's political subdivisions - townships, villages and the city of Celina - which contributed $295,000 to the 2013 budget. The amount is $50,000 more than last year.
"We will continue to analyze the situation month to month," Palmer told the board.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• St. Mary BOE keeps all-day sessions for kindergarten
• Celina teen has close call when tree smashes house
• New Bremen's school levy affected by state budget
• Court may decide who pays for brick work
• Lunch, athletic ticket costs to increase
• Rush keeps rabid fans coming back for more
• Strong list of contenders for Kings Royal
• ACME tournament washed out
a_d
Today
72°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
24%
Tonight
50°
Partly Cloudy
11%
Tomorrow
73°
Chance Rain Showers
38%
Tomorrow Night
55°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Wednesday
75°
Chance Thunderstorms
30%
Wednesday Night
60°
Partly Cloudy
18%
Thursday
77°
Chance Rain Showers
27%
Thursday Night
60°
Partly Cloudy
15%
Friday
79°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
21%
Friday Night
59°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
20%
Saturday
77°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
21%
Saturday Night
59°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
19%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d