Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

March 26, 2014

Health department financials examined in depth

March 26, 2014 — A turnaround in the Little Sandy District Health Department's finances has Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace crying foul.

Wallace has been critical of the department's closure of the Olive Hill facility since the decision was made public last November.

He argued that the move would hamper convenience and accessibility to health services for citizens on the western end of the county.

Wallace also questioned the department's financial oversight in light of a projected $483,213 budget shortfall.

He has been more vocal since Interim Director Paula Thornberry informed the Little Sandy board that the department now is projecting a surplus of about $53,000 by year's end on June 30.

Upon request, Thornberry Tuesday gave the Journal-Times a breakdown of the department's projected budget from now until the end of the fiscal year.

The original budget presented to the Fiscal Court last summer called for $2,139,504 in expenditures.

After consolidation and other cost-saving measures, updated projections show that the department is on track to spend $1,600,800—a reduction of $538,704.

The same budget also shows a dramatic cut in federal revenue, specifically a $400,000 decrease in funding by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

One notable area of cost savings is in personnel which reveals that $90,978.98 in salaries and fringe benefits have been trimmed from the budget so far.

A projection of those figures to the end of the year would total approximately $136,468 in savings.

According to Thornberry, the savings was achieved by laying off six employees, moving two employees from full-time to part-time, voluntary staff furloughs and choosing not to fill vacancies left by two retiring employees.

Other figures also show year-to-date savings of $282,878 in supply costs because the department is ordering fewer items since merging three facilities into one.

“Since consolidating we haven't reordered any supplies. We are also seeing savings in decreased utility costs at the two buildings,” said Thornberry.

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