2009-06-25 / Local & State

MATP Budget Revision Submitted

Current budget "shot," officials discuss program's future
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Julie Dovey, executive director of the Fulton County Partnership, revealed to the Fulton County commissioners Tuesday her current budget for the 2008- 09 fiscal year is spent in connection with operating the Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

Accompanied at the June 22 meeting by county human services administrator Jean Snyder, Dovey stated she is currently awaiting approval on a revised budget in the amount of $446,000. Having submitted the revision back in March, Dovey stated the extra monies are necessary to finish out the remainder of the fiscal year that will end June 30.

Dovey added Fulton County and other neighboring counties are "in the same boat" in submitting their revisions as approval has not yet been received and full allotments are not being granted. Furthermore, in the event the revision is approved as submitted, the additional $70,000 for MATP would likely not arrive until after October.

Snyder pointed out the Partnership has three options available at this point including obtaining a line of credit, suspended medical transportation services as of August 1 or borrowing from the county's general fund. Unwilling at this time to ask the county for the money, Snyder indicated the next step would be to conduct a conference call with MATP officials to discuss the future of the county's program.

Dovey related, including a $25,000 line of credit, the Partnership currently has enough monies to get them through their June 30 payments. However, if the state budget does not get approved in a timely manner as is being predicted, it may also push back the Partnership's first quarter allotment for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

According to Dovey, usage of MATP in Fulton County has increased by 50 percent this year with individuals requiring assistance getting to appointments such as dialysis, methadone treatments and summer therapeutic camps.

Fifty percent of the trips taken by countians are to Franklin County, and an additional 25 percent of the appointments are within Fulton County. The remaining 25 percent are taken to a variety of locations, said Dovey. Better coordination of these trips has ensured that multiple clients are able to ride simultaneously instead of one individual at a time.

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