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Boyceville ambulance five-year committee discusses budget, clerk-treasurer

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE — The five-year planning committee for the Boyceville Ambulance District has begun discussing a budget and the possibility of hiring a clerk-treasurer.

“That’s why we’re here. No one really knew what direction (the ambulance district) should go in … how can we budget if we don’t know where it is going and what is happening?” said Rich Monn, chair of the Town of Stanton and chair of the ambulance district’s five-year planning committee at a meeting held July 25.

 In addition to Monn, the five-year planning committee includes Paul Wathke from the Town of Sherman; Bill Drinkman from the Town of Tiffany; Jill Huber from the Town of New Haven; and Ned Hahn from the Town of Hay River.

“We were directed to level things out so there are no big bumps in the budget,” Monn said.

Committee members discussed the rotation for replacing ambulances along with setting up a replacement fund for purchasing new ambulances and an equipment fund for other purchases, such as heart monitors.

Matt Feeney, ambulance service director, noted that the ambulance service had given up the idea of replacing an ambulance in favor of remodeling the former Chevy building on Race Street as an ambulance station.

The ambulance service has applied for a $200,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation for remodeling the building, and information was expected to be available on July 28 as to whether Boyceville had received the grant.

If Boyceville does not receive the Bremer grant for the building, the ambulance service can immediately apply for a grant to buy a new ambulance, Feeney told committee members.


The Boyceville ambulance service had previously been on a ten-year rotation so that each ambulance was replaced every five years; the plan to remodel the building as an ambulance station has disrupted the ambulance rotation, Feeney said.

If the Boyceville ambulance service ends up receiving grants for the building and/or equipment, it will help eliminate “hiccups” in the budget, he said.

Prior to the ambulance district being formed, several EMTs remembered that there was an equipment fund, Feeney said.

“When we traded in Med 11 there was $35,000 in an account somewhere, but no one knows where that money went … I don’t know if it got rolled over into the budget … because we knew the first year (of the ambulance district) there was going to be an uptick because of our salaries, our paychecks. I don’t know,” Feeney said.

Colfax recently replaced an ambulance that had been in an accident by transferring the box to a new chassis, he pointed out.

Using the box from an existing ambulance and putting it on a new chassis costs much less than buying an entirely new ambulance and would be a good plan for Boyceville to follow, Feeney said.


One committee member noted that since the ambulance service has become a district, the village has continued to help with clerk-treasurer duties being provided by the village clerk-treasurer, Cindy Swanepoel, and that the district pays a fee to the village for services.

Committee members suggested that it would be a good idea for the ambulance district to have its own clerk-treasurer.

Feeney noted that if he has questions, he asks Swanepoel, and she researches the question and provides answers or resources.

“I don’t know what it takes or how much time she invests in it. She does our payroll every two weeks. I know it’s time-consuming. The direct deposit (of paychecks) will help. We need a benchmark,” Feeney said.

One committee member said he hoped that within the next five years, the budget for the ambulance service does not increase as much as it did over the past five years.

“I don’t see a jump in population increase … I don’t foresee an uptick in wages for EMTs. We’re at what the government requires right now. … I don’t foresee increasing my salary … I’m not in it for the money,” Feeney said.

The Boyceville ambulance five-year planning committee directed Feeney to check with Swanepoel about the clerk-treasurer position, a salary for the position and a job description.

Feeney also was directed to research how much should be set aside annually for a major equipment fund and a vehicle replacement fund.

The Boyceville ambulance district’s five-year planning committee will meet again immediately following the Boyceville fire district and Boyceville ambulance district meetings on August 14.

The fire district meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyceville Village Hall, and the ambulance district meeting follows immediately afterward.