Pulaski County will be considering its fiscal year budget in August, but the Pulaski County Health Department must first reduce its expenses by a significant margin.
The Health Department has seen a reduction in revenue due a reduction in the number of immunizations provided. Tax draws have also been reduced, impacting several departments in Pulaski County.
Office Administrator Terri Hansen says the Health Department was happy to allow Pulaski Memorial Hospital to take over some of the immunization duties.
“The paperwork that goes along with that is very detailed and you had to contact each insurance company to make sure they did those vaccines,” says Hansen. “Plus we have a lot of Medicaid paperwork to do because about half the people in this county, the children receiving immunizations here, they are on Medicaid.”
The Health Department currently has expenditures of $260-thousand. Pulaski County Auditor Sheila Garling informed officials, however, that $130-thousand must first be cut to balance the Health Department’s budget in 2016.
One position has already been eliminated from the Health Department. Some expenses may be made-up through the use of CAGIT funds. Using those monies would first have to be approved by the Pulaski County Council.
Hansen says the duties of the individual removed from the payrolls for budget reasons will be divided amongst the staff.
“We’ll try to do whatever we can to maintain the professionalism that’s needed from the health department and we have every hope that we can do that,” says Hansen.
To help make-up for lost revenue, the Health Department says an increase in immunization fees, permits, and other revenue generating services could bee seen.
Pulaski County is also tasked with cutting $1.5-million from its General Fund for 2016.