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Fire district bolsters its bottom line

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Annual audit shows EFPD in the black by an additional $620,000

By Beth Potter

The Evergreen Fire Protection District strengthened its balance sheet by almost $620,000 in 2013, based on a draft of its annual audit.

The fire district reported $10.9 million in net assets for 2013, compared with about $10.3 million in 2012. 

Total general fund revenue was $5,899,020 in 2013, up $185,813 from 2012 revenue. The increase in revenue came generally from an increase in donations, among other things. 

Overall, general fund revenue was $242,512 less than budgeted, however — primarily due to a $195,609 decrease in ambulance billings and a $100,036 decrease in intergovernmental revenue, according to the annual audit draft.

The ambulance service has taken steps to generate more revenue in 2014, including requiring patients to sign a waiver of liability before they take an ambulance ride, Bob Walters, EMS coordinator for the district, has said. The waiver, officially called an “advance beneficiary notice” lets patients know they’re responsible for paying the ambulance bill if their insurance company won’t.

It also appears that the district also is writing off $425,000 in ambulance service uncollected bills for 2013, according to the draft audit.

Separately, the draft audit shows that WL Contractors in Arvada was paid $19,102 in 2013 for work it did to the district’s “opticom” system. People driving emergency vehicles are able to change signal lights at intersections so they can get through more quickly with an “opticom” system. Jeff DeDisse, a district board member, works at WL Contractors in Arvada. 

In 2014, the district may receive $55,000 more than expected in ownership tax, based on collections, according to the draft audit. The district’s budget for 2014 is expected to include $5.22 million in operating revenue and $5.36 million in expenditures. Property tax revenue is budgeted at $3,316,889.

Contact Beth Potter at 303-350-1043 or beth@evergreenco.com.