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Triumphs & Woes for County and TGH Budgets

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In an extended meeting Tuesday, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors discussed revisions to the county budget and new financial figures for Tuolumne General Hospital.

While the county´s fund balance has increased almost 900-thousand dollars, it´s a less rosy picture for TGH, where cash flow is over a million dollars worse than first projected.

As far as the county fund balance, the board recognized increased revenue in more than a dozen departments to the tune of 450 thousand dollars.

In addition, the Resource Advisory Committee was allocated 100 thousand dollars so that matching funds would be available in two years.

And a debate over the Economic Development Company ended with one change: the EDC will still receive 100 thousand dollars of county money, but a task force will also be appointed to review the organization´s goals.

In the end, the County will have 295 thousand dollars in its Contingency Fund, where it previously had no money set aside.

While it sounds like a lot, in the big picture, it really isn´t. Supervisor Mark Thornton pointed out that even if all the new money went to the County Roads Department, it still wouldn´t be enough.

“I think most people agree we need to do more road work county-wide than we´re currently doing. I don´t want to sound [like I´m] lecturing, but the public needs to know that this 898 thousand… we could take all of that and stick it in the road fund and we would still not be where it should be,” Thornton said during Tuesday´s session.

Tuolumne General Hospital, however, is 816 thousand dollars in the hole.

Supervisors Tuesday approved most of an elaborate plan to improve financial performance as well as the operations in the Business Office, the Outpatient Clinic, and in employee training.

“We do not believe that the 816 thousand dollars is an acceptable number, and in order to take the steps necessary to erase that number, there is a series of recommendations here before you that will assist us in being able to bring that [figure] within budget,” said TGH Administrator Barry Woerman to the Board Tuesday.

Most of the plan to correct the funding snafu was passed Tuesday afternoon by the Supervisors, but a vote on a new contract with an outside agency to adjust hospital billing had to be delayed since it hadn´t been placed on the agenda.

Supervisors will hold a special session Wednesday afternoon at 5pm to talk about the contract.