As the Pettis County Ambulance District prepares for the start of service in Windsor next month, the Windsor Ambulance District Board of Directors has been working on its next objective — paying off debt.
WAD Chairman Steve Galloway told the Democrat on Friday now that ambulance service for the area has been secured, the board is working to get the district debt-free, and the board took steps to do so during its meeting Tuesday.
“I believe we’re making progress,” Galloway said. “Our community is very excited about PCAD providing service in our community and PCAD has just been wonderful to work with, absolutely wonderful. Our community is really excited and welcomed them with our open arms. We feel like we’re making progress; our first priority was to establish service in our district and we feel like we’ve accomplished that, so we’re moving on to our next objective, which is the payroll taxes.”
On Tuesday, the financial report was presented, with a balance of $128,005.34, which includes $125,815.45 in tax revenue, according to the meeting minutes. The board approved paying $26,170.18 in bills, and the largest chunk was WAD’s $20,000 payment to PCAD for year one of service.
“We’ve received the majority of our tax revenue from the four counties so we wanted to go ahead and meet our obligation for year one with PCAD to ensure that was taken care of,” Galloway said.
The board also approved making $500 monthly payments to the State of Missouri, along with the $500 monthly payments the district was already paying to the IRS.
“As with the federal IRS, one of the things we have to do is show good faith in debt payment,” Galloway explained. “We’re already making payments to the Feds so we wanted to start making payments to the state IRS to show good faith so we might have an opportunity to negotiate on the fines. They won’t discuss that aspect with us until we show good faith.”
To also help with IRS negotiations, WAD has hired TaxPro in Sedalia to assist the district. Jim Bales, who works for TaxPro, is a PCAD board member and, according to the meeting minutes, specializes in dealing with the IRS to reduce tax burdens. The minutes also state Bales told Galloway after the last PCAD board meeting he “felt it was possible to reduce (WAD’s) debt significantly.”
“The biggest reason (we hired TaxPro) is that all of us board members are amateurs when it comes to state and federal payroll taxes and in visiting with Mr. Bales a couple of other times, there’s several different forms that have to be filed,” Galloway said. “We need some expert advice in how to work through this process.”
WAD also approved renting the district’s building for $500/month to an individual who “expressed an interest in renting the old ambulance barn to use for his commercial business and living quarters for his employees to use,” the minutes state.
WAD is also working to sell the district’s three non-functional ambulances. Abandoned vehicle titles will need to be obtained for them, as the titles have not been located. While it’s not a significant amount, the building rental and ambulance sales will provide a small revenue stream for WAD.
“We felt that any revenue we could generate would certainly be helpful, plus when a building’s vacant it’s open to vandalism and all kinds of things, and we felt like it was a good opportunity for us to generate some additional revenue,” Galloway said of the decision to rent the building. “We can’t really sell the property until our tax obligations are satisfied because the federal IRS has liens against it.”
Ambulance service is now expected to begin March 3 in Windsor, which is a few weeks later than discussed during a previous PCAD meeting. Galloway said the primary reason for the later start date is due to coordinating 911 communication between PCAD and Henry County Dispatch. The company helping install equipment is behind schedule, he added. He said other than finalizing communication needs, everything is on track for employee housing at 111 W. Jackson St. in Windsor.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.