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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting
December 5, 2018 2:00 p.m.
Commissioner Conference Room
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.
Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk; Eric Hern, Fiscal Director, Phil Gilbert, Tax Claim Director, and Lisa Rivett, Director of Elections
Citizens Present: Josh Cotton (WTO)
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin started out by stating that the purpose of today’s meeting is to unveil the 2019 budget. This fully conforms to the Sunshine Law and the County Code.
He went on to state that he is very pleased with this budget, and there will be no tax increase. While Commissioner Cindy Morrison had proposed a tax decrease with the paying off of the bond debt, we could not find any places to make cuts; he then explained why the 2018 budget was over extended.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, Eric Hern, Fiscal Director, and Treasurer Dennis Munksgard worked very hard to make the 2019 revenue figures and budget as realistic as possible, and for that I thank you all.
A question was raised as to how to handle the $92,000 for reallocation, according to section 1784 of the county code, we do have the authority to reallocate these funds.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin then thanked Eric Hern, Fiscal Director for all his long hours and hard work on this budget, with a software program that is complicated.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then stated that he wanted to convey that Commissioner Cindy Morrison wanted to attend this meeting, but due to a family emergency she could not be here. We wanted to reschedule this meeting so she could attend, but with the time constraints to get this out for public review, we could not do that.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that they will go through and each of us will give their input, we have given suggestions to Eric Hern, Fiscal Director prior to today’s meeting.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston gave a background on how this budget was created, with suggestions from department heads, and the commissioners the Fiscal Director put together the budget.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that the tentative budget is a consolidated budget, and if any department head or members of the public would like a more detailed budget, please request this through Pamela J. Matve, Chief Clerk.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston reviewed the revenue stating that the revenue for 2017 and 2108 was over stated. We are estimating 9 million in revenue for 2019 and this includes the debt service. He went on to state that in the past, there were line items shown as revenue but in all reality it was not, as it was paying on an expense item.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin then touched on the USDA grant and other monies that will be received for the radio project.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then touched on the PCORP grant, and stated that this will be used for various building projects.
Wages were discussed and how the increases came about, along with discussing healthcare, the ARC payment, prison costs etc.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then stated that he asked that Long & Nyquist be cut from the 2019 budget as we do not have any projects ready for them to help with; but did state that they may be engaged for 2020. Building improvements will be done through the guaranteed energy program with ABM.
Treasurer Dennis Munksgard asked about the secure rural funding; are you expecting more to come in, and is this not a pass through.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated yes, it is a pass through, but for the past two years we have gotten more than budgeted, so it was increased for 2019.
Treasurer Dennis Munksgard then asked about the article in the paper regarding the millage rate, and asked why we don’t take that money and put into a capital improvement fund.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that we have talked about the maintenance projects that have been kicked down the road for the past couple of years, and decided to roll these projects into the ABM project. They are now taking all the projects and ranking them and a presentation will be made at a later date.
Lisa Rivett, Director of Elections then asked about the voting machines and are they included in the budget. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated no, they will be in the 2020 budget.
Lisa then asked, what if they decommission our current machines in 2019. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he has heard they will not do that. Lisa stated, that if you wait until 2020 you will be into the presidential election, do you really want to do this. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated we have no choice, we do not have the funding. There are talks about funding help, therefore we want to wait to see if we can get help with funding.
Lisa said to keep in mind that our machines did have some issues this last election. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that if we have an emergency we can open up the budget and reallocate funds if necessary.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he also did not want to commit to anything in 2019.
Lisa then stated that maybe we should also look into a lease program, as she has heard the shelf life of the new systems is not as long as the current machines we are using.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then presented his proposed changes. He went onto state that he would like to take $50,000.00 from the contingency fund and create a Marketing & Development position.
He went onto state that this person would work on the recommended initiatives of both the Marketing and Redevelopment Task Forces. My concept is this person would work under the Commissioners office, but would partially be funded by the City of Warren. At this point nothing has been ironed out with the city. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston went on to state that this person would be paid $36,000 - $40,000 per year (nonunion) and they would work 60% with the city and 40% for the county on projects. The remainder of the $50,000 would be for software and promotion costs. They would not only do marketing but also will work on the development with the RDA’s and planning & Zoning promoting properties.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then stated that currently the Commissioners office cannot do this project. If the city does not agree to this we can then remove it from the budget.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that we need to stipulate that the city must agree before we hire anyone. Grant writing is very much needed. While Lorri Dunlap is a great administrator of grants, we need a writer. I can go along with your idea.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then stated that he is in agreement with Commissioner Cindy Morrison’s proposal to give the Ag. Extension an additional $6,700 for a master gardener. I would ask that this be incorporated into the budget. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that I am sure she would agree with this.
Highmark Loyalty Agreement: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin state that there is one more item that needs to be handled today and that is an agreement with Highmark.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the update to the Highmark Loyalty agreement, and to authorize Eric Hern, Fiscal Director to sign on behalf of the county. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he would like to take this time to thank Eric Hern, Fiscal Director for all his hard work on this budget. I would also like to thank Treasurer Dennis Munksgard for all his help on the revenue side of the budget and his hard work, along with Angela Fage, and Pam Matve for running various reports when needed. It has been all hands on deck. Thank you.
Adjournment: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting adjourned 2:51 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved:
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston, Secretary
Chief Clerk Warren County Commissioner