The Redwood Area Hospital's finance departments were put under the direct supervision of the city this week, both to safeguard procedures and cut costs.
Until now the City of Redwood Falls and the Redwood Area Hospital have had completely separate financial departments, even though the hospital is owned by the city.
Each had its own payroll, accounts payable, human resources, and information systems departments, among others.
Earlier this year, City Finance Director Missi Meyer was appointed by the city council to have interim oversight of the hospital’s finance, human resource and information systems departments.
One reason was to investigate charges of inappropriate reimbursements, and to suggest changes to prevent similar activity from occurring again.
A second reason was to find any ways the hospital and city could share resources, and cut down on duplication of services and costs.
The new plan was presented, and approved, at the regularly scheduled city council meeting Tuesday evening.
Under the new system, the hospital’s finance, human resources, and information systems departments will stay permanently under the supervision of the city finance director.
This action creates an overall city-wide Finance and Administrative Services Department that is expected to benefit both security and economies of scale for the city and hospital.
In other city news, the council:
• In a move related to the above, the council approved changing the city’s payroll coordinator job description and pay since the job’s responsibilities will increase.
Under the new system, the payroll coordinator will be responsible for processing payroll for 300 employees for both the city and the hospital.
• Approved the establishment of a Hospital CEO Search Committee. Current approved members include:
Corey Theis, city council president
Hospital Commission member to be determined by the commission
Affiliated Community Medical Center Representative to be determined by ACMC
Todd Peterson, resident
Keith Muetzel, city administrator
Missi Meyer, city finance director.
• Approved changes in city employees expense reimbursements, particularly for out-of-town travel and mileage.
• Canceled the upcoming Nov. 6, 2012 city council meeting, since it falls on an election day.
The council will hold a special meeting on Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 a.m. to allow for the canvassing of election results, and paying of claims and bills.
• Approved the building and grounds department buying a 22 foot tilt bed trailer for $5,100 from Sparks Sales.
The trailer will be used for transporting skid steers, mowers, and other equipment as needed across town more efficiently.
• Declared several RACC fitness items as surplus property with a value of $475.
• Approved changes in the city’s cell phone policy, specifically about which city employees will carry a city-owned cell phone, and for what purposes.
• Authorized the mayor and city administrator to apply for a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources park legacy grant for planned 2013 park improvements.