August 15, 2018

Posted by: mfd2104

CALL TO ORDER @ 7:01 pm @ Station #2

- Mr. Adams – Mr. Gauntner (excused) x Chief Baker
x Mr. Anderson x Mr. Vest x Joanne Clapp
x Mr. Frager x Mr. Wayman x Stacy Dame



Dan Ellenberger, Director of EMS, stopped by to ask if the Board had any issues with the new Medical Direction provided by University Hospitals. The Board assured him that all is running well and there are no concerns at this time. Chief Baker commented that it is a positive change. Mr. Ellenberger reported that his boss has been urging him to move forward with the plans for expanding their Physician’s Office located on Rt. 528 (across from the YMCA) to include Urgent Care/Walk-in Care.

Mr. Vest asked what the public reaction has been regarding the change to University Hospital’s Medical Direction. Chief Baker reported, again, that the Madison Fire District is still transporting patients to wherever the patients want to go to keep them within their physician’s system, so there is little for the public to be concerned about regarding our change of Medical Direction. He also commented that taking STEMI patients to Geauga Hospital rather than Lake West is still about a half hour transport time and the District can still get a patient from point-of-contact to surgery in under 90 minutes which is most important.

Mr. Frager asked Dan Ellenberger what kind of timeline we are looking at to finalize the Physician’s Office conversion to include the Urgent Care. Mr. Ellenberger commented that they are actively working on the project and their goal is to get it done as soon as possible, however, he doubts it will be done in 2018. He reiterated that UH is still compiling the costs and is still working with the Primary Care Doctors currently at the facility to make sure that they are on board with the new plan, as well as recruiting Nurse Practitioners and getting their input regarding needs and concerns.

Mr. Vest again recommended that Mr. Ellenberger be in contact with Mr. Dwayne Bailey, Village Administrator, who can assist with decisions and offer various available options.

The Board thanked Mr. Ellenberger for taking the time to attend the meeting and for updating the Board on UH’s progress.
Minutes of 07/19/18 Regular Session

Motion to approve the 07/19/18 Regular Session minutes as presented by: Mr. Anderson
Seconded by: Mr. Frager ROLL CALL: All ayes

BILLS & PAYROLL (July 2018):
Bills ($35,275.73) and payroll ($150,270.84) totaling $185,546.57 are motioned for acceptance and payment.

Mr. Anderson noted that there were no voided checks in the month of July 2018. He requested that, henceforth, all voided checks be kept on file and that the reason for the void, and any further action taken regarding the transaction, including any replacement check issued, be noted on the voided check by the Fiscal Officer for the State Auditor’s use. Ms. Joanne Clapp reported that she requested that UAN consider making a field available for that purpose.

Motion to approve bills and payroll as presented by: Mr. Anderson
Seconded by: Mr. Frager ROLL CALL: All ayes

July 2018 Financial Report: Joanne Clapp, CFO, summarized the July Revenue (includes County Property Tax Advance) and Expenses.

Mr. Anderson inquired where the Appropriations Summary is located in UAN. Ms. Clapp replied that the Fund Summary, Revenue Summary and the Appropriations Summary are found under UAN Management Reports. The Appropriations Status report is located elsewhere (at the top).

Mr. Anderson reported that Chief Baker has expressed concerns about the significant amount of Full Time Overtime that is being spent recently but that is not being reported. He asked Ms. Clapp why this overtime account is so understated. Ms. Clapp commented that the account number for overtime is manually put in UAN when wages are set up at the beginning of the year and she committed to auditing UAN Payroll to make sure the correct account codes have been entered.

Mr. Anderson also asked why the Full Time Salary amounts being reported are under budget year-to-date given all the open shifts covered by Full Timers and the recent increase in Full Time Overtime. He inquired whether some of these Full Time Salaries or Full Time Overtime might be coded and reported in Part Time Salaries which should be under budget year-to-date but is not. Ms. Clapp stated that Full Time and Part Time Salaries are separated out in UAN and also committed to auditing UAN payroll to ensure employee wages are correctly coded.

Mr. Anderson asked why the Full and Part Time Salaries, including Full and Part Time Overtime, are not under one main account rather than split into separate accounts which would be less room for error and make mistakes easier to correct. Ms. Clapp stated that at the beginning of the year, we tried to use up the EMS money first in Salaries and Wages.

Chief Baker asked the Board if it is their desire that Administrative, Full Time and Part Time Wages be tracked separately. He commented that he combines them for his budget overview reports. Mr. Vest stated that using a combined total on summaries is fine, but that he does not want the chart of accounts changed to the point that he is unable to track expenditures and open balances in each wage category.

Mr. Frager asked if UAN can run payroll reports that show the payroll breakdowns being discussed. Ms. Clapp stated that currently UAN can run reports that show the breakdown of Administrative, Full Time and Part Time regular and overtime wages because they are coded as such. If the Board desires, at some future time, that all wages be coded with a single account number for budget purposes, the wage reports currently available will no longer show the breakdown and she will need to issue augmented UAN payroll reports that show the number of regular and overtime hours worked in each category to get the breakdown information. Ms. Clapp stated that she would copy a few pertinent payroll reports for Board review by the next meeting.

Based on Mr. Anderson’s cited payroll account discrepancies earlier in the discussion (i.e. FT Salaries, FT Overtime, PT Salaries, etc), Mr. Frager requested that Ms. Clapp audit all 2018 UAN account codes and make a list, for Board review and approval, of all previous transactions in payroll that need account number corrections.

Mr. Vest reminded everyone that, some years ago, the Board had requested that the Budget be expanded to show more detail with respect to revenue and expenditures so that the costs of each facet of the operation could be better analyzed. Now that there is better understanding and better control of revenue and expenses, we should consolidate and simplify the Budget categories.



EMS Billing Settlements: Stacy Dame, Legal Counsel, reported that, per Chief Baker, the District has received (2) insurance settlement requests from insurance companies for EMS billing which Medicount Management prefers to leave to Chief Baker to negotiate and settle internally. Chief Baker explained that these insurance companies are by-passing Medicount because Medicount will not negotiate and/or settle on our behalf.

LEGAL COUNSEL ISSUES – EMS Billing Settlements (cont.): 08-15-18

Ms. Dame suggested that the Board make a motion authorizing Chief Baker to negotiate and settle these EMS billing charges with insurance carriers for the remainder of 2018. Said authorization will be reviewed annually and amended as needed at the January Reorganization meeting each subsequent year. All settlements are to be reported at the monthly Fire Board meetings.

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Frager
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All ayes

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None to report.


PAC Business: Per Chief Baker, the PAC is still current and he met with FF Rought and Lt. Faulhammer on Tuesday, August 14th to identify some dates and locations to talk with folks about our current and future financial needs. Chief Baker has sign up sheets at St. #3 for volunteers who are willing to give time off-shift to get the word out, and he invited the Board to step up and help.

Mr. Vest asked if anyone is organizing a door-to-door campaign and commented that he has talked to many residents who would appreciate it if firefighters would stop by with tickets and levy information. It was suggested that off-duty firefighters, although not in full uniform, wear some identifying clothing when canvassing door-to-door. Mr. Vest also commented that we need to get literature together so we can tell the residents why we need their support. Stacy Dame reminded everyone that all levy activities such as, but not limited to, fundraisers and solicitations must be conducted during off duty hours and off District property. Chief Baker committed to sending out a list of guidelines for District personnel detailing what can and cannot be done or discussed while on duty.

FT Union Business: Chief Tod Baker and Lt. Brian Faulhammer reported that the Full Time Union/Organization is having a fundraiser which is outside of PAC business. Fire Board members advised Lt. Faulhammer to be sure to send the Board members fundraiser tickets to sell when available.

District Business – Open House – August 25, 2018: Mr. Anderson confirmed that the purpose of the Open House is to let the public see first hand that there is a need at St. #2 and to get information out via the FAQ document which highlights some of our challenges. Mr. Frager asked Chief Baker how he is promoting and advertising the August 25, 2018 Open House at St. #2 and Chief Baker answered that it is on the District Facebook and is on the front signs at both stations. He reported that King’s Towing has been a huge supporter and is bringing in (2) cars for an extrication demo during the Open House and firefighters are also planning an obstacle course for the kids. Chief Baker and Mr. Vest agreed that social media sharing is the best way to get our message out.

Financial Planning Discussion: 08-15-18

Chief Baker led a Financial Planning discussion that focused mainly on efficiently sustaining the operation and meeting future goals over the next 5-10 years. He presented three different options (conservative, moderate, aggressive) for the Board to review and consider which option represents the kind of strategy they want to pursue to be fiscally responsible and to meet the District’s goals of debt reduction and replacement of vehicles.

In Chief Baker’s opinion, our current liability of $150,000 per year in interest payable is not palatable. He explained that if the Board were to adopt the proposed aggressive model, the District could pay off all their debt by 2022 (a decade ahead of schedule) and save between $900,000 – $1,000,000 in interest. Chief Baker stated that we could replace half our fleet with the savings and he would rather put that money back into the community than pay it out in interest. Per Chief Baker, the moderate approach will save approximately $700,000 in interest and the conservative option is geared toward allocating as much money as possible to debt reduction and will possibly cut 4-5 years off the bond and save $400,000-$500,000 in interest.

Chief Baker and District Officers favor the aggressive approach beginning in 2019. He asked that the Board consider and advise which model represents their ultimate goal for the District.

Mr. Vest asked if the original lending documentation allows an early payoff and Chief Baker and Ms. Clapp agreed that it is permissible without penalty. Ms. Clapp also reported that a few financial institutions have approached her regarding refinancing our loan which can be discussed at a later date.

NEW BUSINESS: None to Report.

CHIEF’S REPORT- August 2018 – Chief Tod Baker:

1) Staff Recognition: Chief Baker recognized members for their service time:

a. Lt. Alan Van Kramer – 30 years
b. FF Kevin Stich – 21 years
c. Lt. Frank Henry – 19 years
d. FF Joy Rapier – 5 years
e. FF Jesse Selby – 5 years

Chief Baker also recognized the EMS Committee, led by Captain Justin Meister, for their diligent efforts in reviewing demo equipment, debating and deciding on new updated equipment for the new squads received on August 15, 2018. The new squads were delivered at 10:30am and were in service by 4:30pm. He also extended a special thanks to FF Tyler Hallquest for the many hours he spent studying the new squad schematics and designing a storage and accountability system for ambulance supplies which was a huge benefit with respect to outfitting the new squads in a timely and organized manner. Chief Baker thanked FF Nick Kohr, FF Charley Barnicoat, Captain Terry Sopko, FF Jesse Sopko and FF Jesse Selby for their exhaustive efforts in changing out equipment from the old squads into the new squads and being at-the-ready for whatever was needed throughout the day.

Chief Baker advised the Board that he will probably be presenting a new resolution at the next meeting to surplus old squads #2152 and #2162.

2) Officer’s Meeting: Chief Baker reported that the Officers and Dan Ellenberger met at the end of August and District personnel will be training on TeleStrobe Medicine through University Hospitals using interactive communications between their Strobe Center and our squads to optimize better patient care and better outcomes. University Hospitals will be providing staff with IPads and data plans.

Regional Training in our training center is ongoing and the Village and Township Police Departments have been invited to the August 23, 2018 Rescue Task Force training with instructors from the Lakewood and Parma Heights Fire Departments discussing active shooting events and the collaboration between Law Enforcement and EMS.

Per Chief Baker, there will be an American Red Cross Blood Drive in the Station #3 Training Center on August 20, 2018 from 1-6pm.

Chief Baker also reported that the Officers continue to discuss adding a Part Time Fire Inspector position that would support the current and growing demand on Fire Prevention staff. The projection is that this position could be self-funded with the implementation of a services fee schedule.

3) EMS Billing: EMS revenues are doing very well at about 20-25% above our annual projection.

4) Call Data/Staffing: District personnel have responded to (1838) calls in the first seven months of 2018 to (900) unique addresses which represents 10% of the total number of homes in the community. Crews average 8.67 calls per day with about one-third of the calls overlapping (both stations are inservice at the same time).

5) Budget Overview: Chief Baker reported that we are looking at changing the natural gas supplier at Station #2 when our contract expires because Orwell Gas is too small to have the purchase power of the larger suppliers which make it harder for them to be competitive. We are currently paying 2-½ times what Dominion charges. At this point, we have no other option at Station #3 but to stay with Orwell since it is the only supplier in the area.

Mr. Frager asked what next year’s concerns are, and Chief Baker stated that the District will need to replace a 24-year-old Fire Truck ($425,000 – 450,000) which will begin to cost tens of thousands of dollars to keep in good repair. Based on projected budget numbers, if the District has to replace the Fire Truck without additional funding, staffing hours will have to be cut by the year 2021.

Mr. Vest asked if the District could finance the Fire Truck purchase and Chief Baker responded that there are financing options that he has not yet had time to pursue. According to Chief Baker, delivery of a new Fire Truck is 12 to 14 months out so he will be looking to place an order in January or February 2019.

Closing Public Portion: None to Report.

Closing Board Comments:

Mr. Frager and Mr. Anderson reiterated the importance of informing the public of what the current financial situation is at the District and what we are trying to accomplish. Chief Baker commented that everyone is trying to get the word out by identifying the best methods of exposure and attending as many community events as possible.

Mr. Vest reminded everyone of the September 19, 2018 Regular Session at Station #3.

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss pending litigation and employee discipline with no business to follow @ 8:13 pm by: Mr. Anderson
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All ayes

Regular Session reconvened @ 8:41pm.

Motion to adjourn Regular Session @ 8:42pm by: Mr. Anderson
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All ayes

__________________________ _________________________
Mark V. Vest, Chairman Joanne Clapp, Fiscal Officer

Category: 2018, Board Meeting Minutes