MOAD board approves debt write-off

By Colin Willard, Advocate Staff Writer
Posted 5/29/24

VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board of Directors voted at its May 13 meeting to write off more than $45,000 in debt owed to the district.

MOAD Administrator Carla …

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MOAD board approves debt write-off


VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board of Directors voted at its May 13 meeting to write off more than $45,000 in debt owed to the district.

MOAD Administrator Carla Butler told board members that the district uses two collection agencies. One agency only has claims that are more than five years old totaling $45,899.94. Butler said the agency had not collected any debts to the district since she became the administrator in 2021.

Butler said she talked with the collection agency the district has used for the last several years. The agency advised her that collecting on debts past a certain point was very unlikely. The agency sent her a list of claims that it expected would not result in payments. The list, which denoted that the agency had exhausted its efforts to collect on each claim, totaled $90,686.71. The district has not written off debt for many years.

“Between both of them, that’s a new truck,” Board President Don Lanning said.

Board member Laura Stratman said the claims reach a point when the district will not collect and taking the people who owe money to court would not be worth the cost of time or money.

Butler said the district has pursued garnishments from people who owed money in the past, but loopholes create a cycle where the district has to keep changing its arrangements.

The board voted to write off the claims for the first agency. It took no action toward claims at the second agency.

Also at the meeting, Butler said she had received a phone call from a patient who had been involved in a car crash. The district had billed the person’s health insurance and auto insurance providers. After settling, the person received an ambulance bill that they asked the district to reduce, though Butler said she had advised the patient that the ambulance bill would arrive later.

The patient wrote a letter to the board requesting a reduction. The board reviewed the letter, which requested the board lower the bill from $1,328.20 to $664.10.

Stratman motioned to reduce the bill to $1,000. The rest of the board voted in favor of the reduction.

Later, the board reorganized with the same officers as the last term. Lanning remained the president and Steve Maxwell remained the vice president.

The board has one vacancy because no one ran for the Sub-District #6 seat previously held by Victor Stratman. Butler said board by-laws require the board to fill the vacancy within three months, or by July.

After voters approved the annexation of the Meta area into MOAD, the district must redraw its sub-district boundaries. Butler said she had asked about the process of redistricting. The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office leaves redistricting to local boards. The district is working to submit the necessary information to begin collecting sales taxes in the annexed area.

Laura Stratman asked if the board wanted to redistrict before it fills the empty seat.

Butler said she expected to hear from the Secretary of State’s Office for more information about the redistricting timeframe. The board also questioned whether the districts, originally formed in the 1970s, were separated based on land area or population.

The district signed a $3,842.50 contract with ESO Solutions for a new report-writing system for ambulance crews. Butler said setting up the program would take about three months.

MOAD’s income was $62,817.15 in April compared to $65,285.86 in expenses. Butler said she had caught up billing, which helped bring the net income closer to the positive than it had been the two previous months. The new motor in the 2012 ambulance was included in the $11,480.38 the district spent on ambulance maintenance and repairs last month.

The board approved repairs to the 1990 ambulance’s transmission. The ambulance recently received repairs for a fuel leak.

The Vienna base needed repairs to one of its garage doors. Maxwell said he planned to remove a dead tree at the Freeburg base.

Butler said she called to check on the status of the 2024 American Rescue Plan Act grant for which the district applied. A system error caused the Missouri Department of Public Safety to lose acceptance and rejection letters, so it was in the process of redoing those to distribute to applicants. The letters will likely reach applicants by the end of May.

MOAD responded to 75 calls in April. Of those calls, 50 occurred in the Vienna zone and 25 were in the Freeburg zone.

The Vienna calls included 29 urgent emergencies and 21 dry-run emergencies. The Freeburg calls included one life-threatening emergency, 12 urgent emergencies, 11 dry-run emergencies and one transfer.

Board members requested statistics for how often the district travels to calls in the Meta area for review at a future month’s meeting.

In April, the average time from a call to getting an ambulance en route was 4.65 minutes. The average time for an ambulance en route to arrive on a scene was 11.03 minutes. The average time from an ambulance arriving on a scene to leaving a scene was 24.99 minutes. The average time from an ambulance leaving a scene to reaching a destination was 39.54 minutes. The average time from an ambulance reaching its destination to arriving back in service was 66.83 minutes.

Recent and upcoming events MOAD attended included blood pressure checks and hands-only CPR at the Vienna Senior Center, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce’s Sausage and Crawfish Boil, the Maries County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo and the Freeburg Car Cruise-In.