29 December 1981
Princeton aid squad wants budget control
By DIANA KELLY
PRINCETON — The final say on how and why funds are spent by the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad will rest with the ambulance corps, not the township or borough, a squad spokesman said yesterday.
Responding to a two-week-old proposal by the municipalities that funding be continued if they have the right to monitor the organization’s accounting procedures, outgoing squad Capt. Edwin Obert said the squad would allow a review of its books but would not give the township and borough final veto power over how funds are spent.
“We are not antagonistic at all to the proposal generally,” said Obert.
He said the squad members reviewed the tentative proposal which would continue funding for the day paramedics staff through March if government officials can appoint an advisory committee to “set up a frugal operating budget and a capital budget for the fiscal year.”
While the financially plagued squad maintains it has the medical knowledge necessary to make proper allocations of its funds, members said they don’t mind suggestions on how the money should be spent, according to Obert.
THE DAY STAFF, two strong and the only paid members of the squad, costs about $30,000 a year in salaries — a cost Obert said the rescue squad cannot afford itself.
“They (the borough and township) certainly have the right to review our books in return for funding the paramedics, but they can be sure the squad will not sign any agreement which would give the township and borough veto power over our budget.” Obert said.
He said the squad was particularly concerned that the borough and the township would want to use the squad’s budget surplus — about $20,000 this year — to pay the paramedics’ salaries. Obert said the surplus is set aside for capital improvements, such as the future purchase of a new ambulance, which will likely cost between $50,000 and $60,000.