The Gravois fire protection district held a special board meeting on Monday December 30th where they approved an $880,102 dollar operating budget for 2014. Originally they had a proposed deficit of $47,000 but they were able to bring that down by cutting items and balancing that budget. Those items that were cut included a fund for out of area conference and training, a fund for replacement of firefighting and rescue equipment and reserves for the vehicle and equipment maintenance. The biggest issue for the district has been healthcare costs. Gravois fire protection district fire chief Ed Hancock says quote “the major concern is the instability of the insurance market, specifically as related to health care as a result of the affordable health care act, and the escalating cost of health care.” Hancock says there has been a 40 percent increase in health care costs over the last two years along with an increase in workman’s compensation insurance. The district is working to find a solution to the health care costs and a way to keep all costs under control so that they will not be forced to reduce the level of service they are able to provide those in the district.