Kingsport Times News Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Local News

Hawkins 911 back in the black after two budget deficits in a row

January 9th, 2013 10:19 pm by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE — According to its 2011-12 fiscal year audit, Hawkins County 911 was back in the black after two consecutive years of operating at a budget deficit.


As a result of those two years in the red, Hawkins County 911 was considered financially distressed by the state.


Assuming Hawkins County 911 completes the 2012-13 fiscal year in the black as well, and 911 director Gay Murrell believes that will be the case, the system will be removed from the financially distressed list that involves substantial extra monitoring by the state.


Murrell presented the 2012-13 budget to the Hawkins County 911 Board of Directors on Wednesday afternoon.


She said the board’s approval of a telephone surcharge rate increase played a big role in the system’s economic turnaround.


“We could not have done this without some dedicated employees who really stepped up and made this possible after we cut back on staff and overtime,” Murrell said. “I kept telling (the board) that we were going to get through this as soon as we got our surcharge increase. It took some budget cuts within the office, we cut the third dispatcher during the day, and cut the third dispatcher on some nights.


“I don’t think we’ll have a problem again if the funding keeps coming through like it is from the state and the county — and if we can see additional funding from the EMS agencies like we’ve asked for.”


There were six negative findings in the Hawkins 911 2010-11 fiscal year audit, including the two consecutive previous budget deficits of $55,999 and $121,951 respectively.


This past fiscal year, Hawkins County 911 ended with a budget surplus of $48,087.


In the 2011-12 audit there was only one negative finding — that the expense of some line items exceeded the budgeted amounts.


To resolve that finding, Murrell said the 911 Board will review and amend the budget at the meeting prior to the end of the fiscal year.


In the first six months of the current 2012-13 fiscal year, Hawkins County 911 is operating about $38,000 in the black.


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