City Of Utica’s Ambulance Service Facing Audit Scrutiny
Utica, NY (WIBX) - The finances of the City's ambulance service is being called into question by At-Large Councilman Jerry Kraus. Kraus wants an audit from an outside agency, sighting confusion about the actual financial figures. He says the services provided to area residents by the fire departments ambulance service is not an issue however, he says it's time to reveal the numbers on the books.
Kraus said, "What I'm questioning here is the actual finances of the operation. I've been asking since March when we had our budget discussions in the City of Utica. Show me the report. People talk about the number of revenue and they talk about the number of expenses and I haven't seen a report, and I think it's time."
City officials are currently debating whether to appeal the City's Certificate of Need in order to keep the ambulance service operating, and Kraus says the time for transparency is now because it will support the discussions taking place. Kraus is also calling on State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to intervene and help the proceedings. He send him an official request asking him to provide his opinion on the matter. Utica Mayor David Roefaro and Fire Chief Russell Brooks are planning a press conference on Thursday to discuss the future of the ambulance service.
The official letter from Kraus:
After the recent news of the denial of the Certificate of Need for the Utica Fire Department Ambulance service and the ongoing appeals processes, I am calling for an immediate report to the Council members and the residents and taxpayers of the City of Utica that would outline the accurate financial status of the current operation.
‘I have been hearing so many different profit amounts regarding the City’s Ambulance services and then there are the related expense side figures that need to be clarified. Back in March at the City of Utica budget discussions, I called for this specific report and I was told at the time that the City provides services such as the Ambulance operation and that should be considered different from any profit and loss statement that might be produced in the Private Sector. I continued to ask for those reports and have yet to receive anything. At this point, I know it is necessary to view the audited financial reports for proper analysis of the City’s Ambulance service. I am calling upon our city Comptroller’s office and Utica Fire Chief Russ Brooks and his administrators to produce in a timely manner an audited report of the current and past financials of the UFD Ambulance service. With continuing allocation of city tax dollars to fight the New York State rulings in court, we need this financial information to be able to properly assess the impact to the City. There have been too many figures announced and no definitive report for us to thoroughly understand the profits and expenses involved in the Utica Fire Department Ambulance operation. It’s time we received the audited financial facts. I am also requesting New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s opinion as far as getting a State audit completed.’
Utica Common Council At-Large
Member of the Public Safety Committee