Health Dept. projects cuts in 2013 budget

A projected budget for 2013, annual confidentiality statements for employees, and a less expensive copier lease proposal were all approved Tuesday by the Auglaize County Health Board members.

The local Health Board is required to submit a proposed budget for 2013 to the state by the first Monday in April.

“It’s a guessing game,” said Auglaize County Health Commissioner Charlotte Parsons, who based the projected budget on this year’s numbers.

She said 2012’s budget for the Auglaize County Health Department is expected to be reduced by at least $50,000 from 2011, due to an expected decrease in grant funding.

Board members also approved a new confidentiality statement employees would be required to sign annually.

While previously Health Department employees were required to sign such a form at the beginning of their employment, they now would be required to sign a form annually agreeing to hold names and information in confidence and not release them.

“Some health departments on audits were found out of compliance for this,” Parsons said. “It’s pretty straight forward. They won’t share information without permission. Employees will be required to sign it annually and it will be placed in their personnel file.”

Parsons also recommended to board members a new copier lease option which would save money each month.

“We’re four years into a five-year lease with Perry Corporation,” Parsons said.

With a new agreement, she said they could expect savings to the tune of approximately $64 a month, with monthly payments reduced to $915.

The new agreement allows for an upgrade of a large copy machine used by the department to provide improved capability and for two smaller ones as well. The existing small ones the department uses no longer have replacement parts available.

The cost for making color copies would be reduced by 1 cent with the new machines, which also could be used for faxing and scanning.

“There would be no supply costs and copies would cost less,” Parsons said.

There were questions about getting rid of the smaller machines and only having the larger one in use in the office, but Parsons said the price difference is $150 a month and the other machines are still needed because of how busy the larger machine already is with its current use.

Perry plans to dispose of the old machines and install the new, to be included in the cost.