Rock Island County Budget Committee considers 2017 budget
The Rock Island County Budget Committee met Oct. 25 to consider the 2017 budget.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the committee:
Budget Committee Minutes Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:00 p.m.
The Budget Committee of the Rock Island County Board met at the above date and time in the Committee Room of the Administration Office on the second floor of the County Building, 1504 Third Ave, Rock Island, IL. Chairman Ken Maranda called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m. Minutes as follows:
1) Call to order and roll call
Committee members present: Richard Brunk, Nick Camlin, Don Johnston, Mia Mayberry, Rod Simmer, Ginny Shelton, Kai Swanson
Committee members absent: None
Others present: Kenneth Maranda, Dave Ross, April Palmer, Amanda Van Daele, Jeff Deppe, Dewayne Cremeens, Trent Vandersnick, Karen Kinney, John Massa, Sam DeYoung, Nita Ludwig, Josh Boudi
2) Consider minutes from the October 24, 2016 meeting
Motion to approve: Nick Camlin 2nd: Rod Simmer Voice vote Motion carried
3) Public Comments
There were no public comments.
4) Consider FY17 budget
Mr. Brunk is present.
Mr. Ross explained that he is going to follow the same process he followed yesterday. The County Clerk, who did not present yesterday, is here today. Mr. Boudi was not on the schedule and Mr. Ross has him up first today. The Coroner asked Mr. Ross to do his. He was working a homicide yesterday and is still working on that today.Follow up regarding Recorders capital projects Mr. Ross noted that when they discussed the Recorder’s capital projects yesterday, there were two questions. One was on a copy machine. Mr. Ross explained that Ms. Fisher has one copy machine but would like two. She prefers not to use RK Dixon. She has a bad history with him. That’s fine and is her right. This is for her special revenue fund. She has one copy machine for public use and one for her staff. Also, she has 17 computers and all of those will be 5 years old. She has 10 staff members and seven public computers. She wants to replace them all.
Mr. Simmer asked what the public ones are for. Mr. Maranda explained that it’s for when they come in and look at all the documents. Mr. Ross said they’re used all the time.
GIS Mr. Ross explained that GIS has one capital project next year. It is for aerial photography for accurate parcel adjustments, economic development efforts, assessments, etc. They try to update the aerial photography map every couple of years. That’s a $12,000 cost to the county. That cost is shared with other jurisdictions.
For revenues in GIS, 2015 actuals are $242,612. They’re estimating $233,333 for 2016 and staying right there in 2017. Nothing is standing out in revenues.
Expenses in 2015 were $278,000. In 2017, they are looking to be about $279,000. That includes the capital improvement project. That’s right in line to where it was two years ago. It’s down a little bit this year, so he’s been able to save a little money this year.
County Clerk Ms. Kinney said she was really sorry about last night. She had no idea until she went home and had nothing to do. She thought that was strange and maybe she did something wrong. She looked on Facebook and saw some people were at the budget meeting. She texted Jeff and asked if that was scheduled and he said yes. She’s really sorry. She knew something was wrong if she had a free night.
Mr. Ross noted that the County Clerk has no capital projects for 2017. Ms. Kinney said not that they’re aware of.
Mr. Ross explained that revenues for County Clerk fees in 2015 are about $373,000. They estimate them to be $405,000 for 2016 and are budgeting the same in 2017. They expect them to be up just slightly from the 2015’s actual. Election Reimbursements are relatively negligible. Grants are not budgeted for. Ms. Kinney noted that oftentimes, they have to fight for the Election Judge Reimbursements from the state.
For expenses, Salaries and Wages are down a little bit from 2016 and up from 2015. Operating Supplies are staying fairly flat. Other Services and Charges are up just slightly, but that’s a couple thousand more in Outside Contractual. Ms. Kinney asked if that’s reflecting their Locus Contract. Mr. Ross said it could be. Everything is staying pretty flat. The Admin budget he expects to come in less than in 2016. That’s a good thing.
In Elections, Salaries and Wages are staying relatively flat. Supplies are significantly down from 2015. Other Services and Charges are about $247,500. That’s $200,000 less than this year, but there isn’t a presidential election that year. There is also $2,500 there that Ms. Kinney can forego if necessary, but Mr. Ross prefers to leave in for now in case there’s something she needs in her office.
Ms. Kinney’s special revenue fund, County Clerk Document Fund, revenues are right in line with 2015 and a little less than 2016. Mr. Ross hopes that’s conservative and actually comes in closer to this year’s. Under expenses, Supplies are right in line with 2015 and a little under 2016. There are no capital improvement projects. She does her Maximus transfers to the General Fund. Her fund balance will be a healthy $120,000 at the end of 2017. Mr. Ross noted that she had a $60,000 fund balance in 2015 and is looking to be quite a bit higher. That’s really good.
Court Services For capital projects in 2017, there is a replacement of office computers in four offices. That will be rotated with an annual placement of 13 computers. That’s just under $1,000 per computer. That’s paid for out of Probation Service Fee Fund. That’s out of the special revenue fund, not the General Fund. Mr. Vandersnick added that the old ones are given to the Information Systems department and Mr. Davis refurbishes them and gives them to other departments that could use them.
Mr. Ross stated that the General Fund revenues for Court Services were down just a little this year in Intergovernmental. That is in no small part for Probationary Salary Reimbursements. If the county doesn’t have positions filled, it’s not going to get reimbursed for them. Mr. Vandersnick has been operating with several positions open as a cost savings measure for the county. Again, this is the budget as if the public safety sales tax referendum passes. Mr. Vandersnick would be able to fill those open positions – not create new ones, just fill the open ones. That would thus increase the salary reimbursement. Ms. Shelton asked how many positions are being left open. Mr. Vandersnick said he has three open right now.
Mr. Ross continued that Electronic Monitoring Fines are staying flat in 2015, 2016, and 2017.Under expenses, the Salaries and Wages are up about $100,000 from 2015 and about $200,000 from 2016. That is to simply fill those positions that are remaining open right now.
Mr. Ross asked if they do the transfer to the Youth Services Bureau every year. Mr. Vandersnick said yes. Mr. Ross explained that there is a standard transfer to YSB that is collected by the Circuit Clerk’s office. Mr. Camlin asked why it goes to the YSB and if that’s contractual. Mr. Vandersnick said it’s not. Mr. Camlin asked if the statute says only the peer justice program by the YSB or if it can be any peer justice program. Mr. Vandersnick added that it could be any agency. Mr. Camlin asked if they should open it up to an RFP and use some level of benchmarking to award the money. Mr. Vandersnick explained that it is possible. To be honest, it’s been ... he has researched since that program started in 1999 and the statute came aboard in 2005. It’s been with the YSB since its inception in 1999. Mr. Ross added that this $30,000 that is budgeted, whatever that amount is actually, is collected to Circuit Clerk to be transferred to YSB. There is also a line in the General Fund for $17,000 that is more voluntary and is transferred to the YSB. Mr. Vandersnick added that even though they have that money budgeted, they have not collected that much from the Circuit Clerk. Mr. Brunk explained that when they’re talking about this program, they’re talking about staffing for the program, implementation, and locations to hold court hearings for the teenagers. The idea of bouncing from one small agency to another, whether every year or every two or three years, nobody would want it because they would have to staff for it and it would be...Mr. Camlin said he knows of organizations that are interested and would like the chance to at least be able to bid for it. Mr. Brunk explained that once it went to them, nobody would want it back. It would be allotted to that agency for as long as the statute allows. Again, they have staff for this program. That’s something to consider. He’s not sure, he can check with the current chair. He’s been a longtime advocate for the program. Mr. Brunk can see if he’s aware of the history of it. Mr. Brunk asked Mr. Vandersnick if he said the program has been in place since prior to the statute. Mr. Vandersnick confirmed. He researched that at the end of last week. Ms. Mayberry asked if this is the only agency locally that has a program like this. It sounds like there are others interested in implementing it, but she asked if anyone actually runs a program like this. Mr. Brunk said just the YSB, and they’ve also started implementing the program at some of the schools in the area also.
Mr. Ross continued that Electronic Monitoring is staying relatively flat. Expenses are relatively the same as they have been the last couple of years.
Mr. Ross noted that Child Placement is one in the past that it had looked like the county had budgeted low regardless of what it was going to be. In 2016, they’ve been budgeting what they thought it would be. 2015 was $1,048,030 actual. They budgeted higher than that in 2016. It looks like they’re doing great. It looks like it is going to be $900,000. It’ll be what it is, but it’s right on track to be $900,000 in 2016. That’s great. Mr. Ross wants it to be back up to $1,050,000 in 2017 because it’s one of those that he doesn’t want to under budget for and find themselves scrambling to find a couple hundred thousand later in the year. They have to pay it. He would rather be conservative and budget it at where he has it.
The Child Welfare Fund zeroes itself out as a fund balance every year. It is money in and money out that transfers from the General Fund to Child Placement and Outside Contractual. It all totals the same amount and zeros the fund out.
The Probation Service Fee Fund is down a little bit in revenues from 2015, primarily from Probation Services Fees, but it’s relatively flat. Expenses under this special revenue fund are looking to spend almost $67,000 for Supplies. Whatever is spent out of this fund for Supplies and Other Services and Charges is money that is not being put toward the General Fund. Mr. Ross would love as much in there as possible. Obviously it needs to be appropriately spent. That’s what they’re doing.
Mr. Ross asked Mr. Vandersnick what the amount in Outside Contractual is for. Mr. Vandersnick said it’s for Solutions Specialties, which is a computer program for probation. It’s also for RK Dixon for computer services. Mr. Ross said he doesn’t remember delving into this one. He did for almost all of them, but not for everything. The $225,000, he hasn’t looked into New World Systems, but he hopes it will come in less than that since 2015 was $136,000. If it does, that helps the fund balance at the end of the year.
Ms. Mayberry asked what the Dues and Memberships are in 2016 and 2017. Mr. Vandersnick explained that they are due to the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association. That’s a state association. They pay all the dues for everybody in his office to be a member of that. Mr. Ross asked how he got a -30 on that. He guesses they were reimbursed more than they actually spent. Ms. Palmer noted that sometimes the feds do that. They just have their standard that they go by to reimburse whether you spend it all or not. Mr. Ross said that’s a good thing.
Mr. Ross explained that everything else looks relatively stable. He is looking at a $90,000 fund balance. He predicts that it’ll be higher than that because he doesn’t think all those expenses will come in for 2016 and/or carry over to 2017. That’s a special revenue fund and is in good shape no matter what.
Mr. Ross noted that Drug Court Fund revenues under Drug Court Fees are relatively flat. They’re down a bit this year. That’s another one where hopefully they won’t end up spending it all. Ultimately it is up to Mr. Vandersnick and the Chief Judge what they end up spending. That fund has been maintaining $115,000 plus fund balance. Mr. Ross anticipates it will likely end up higher than budgeted.
Highway, Bridge, Motor Fuel
Mr. Ross explained that Mr. Mass has five funds: Highway, Bridge, Motor Fuel Tax, and two other special revenue funds from special levy districts.
Under revenues, they’ve got property taxes. The levy is an increase of 5% over what it was in the prior year. The rest of the revenues, nothing stands out. The Equipment Rental is more of an internal source. Mr. Massa said it’s coming from Motor Fuel Tax. Mr. Ross explained that it’s a shift between funds for renting their own equipment for projects, essentially. Mr. Massa explained that it used to be a good thing back several years ago when Motor Fuel Tax was abundant. It was a good thing to rent it. Motor Fuel Tax can only be spent on certain things. They can’t buy or rent certain equipment, stuff like that. They shift it over to the Highway Fund and it helps spending. Those days are slowly dwindling. That’s decreasing. Mr. Ross noted that that’s intentional. Even though he doesn’t have 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 up, it decreases each year a little bit. That is intentional because of the challenges they have with Motor Fuel Tax. Mr. Massa explained that for Motor Fuel Tax projects, all of the equipment they have – trucks, excavators, all that equipment – has a rental rate. They can charge it and take it from MFT. MFT revenue is going down. Mr. Camlin asked what is driving that. Mr. Massa explained that fuel prices are going down. Everybody has a reason why. There are more fuel efficient cars. It has decreased 25% in the last 16 years. There are several reasons, he doesn’t know exactly why, but they have less vehicle registrations in the county. That’s how they get paid. That’s one aspect. There are several reasons.
Mr. Ross asked if Mr. Massa could update the committee on the purpose of each fund. Mr. Massa explained that the Highway Fund pays for all of the equipment, maintenance on the equipment, anything administrative or engineering related, engineering costs. Probably one of the biggest costs is equipment purchases, purchase of fuel and oil, any maintenance on the equipment, and salaries. Mr. Ross asked if MFT is for the projects, then. Mr. Massa confirmed. Mr. Ross said Bridge is for anything associated with the bridge. Mr. Massa confirmed.
Mr. Ross explained that revenues are up a little bit in 2017. That’s primarily because of the higher transfer from the MFT Fund in the Highway Fund. Mr. Massa explained that the reason it jumps from $204,000 to almost $700,000 is the way they did position budgeting this year. They could separate them out, so all of the salaries are actually in the Highway Fund, but they’ll transfer salaries, FICA, and IMRF into the Highway Fund.
That was basically for the purpose of New World Systems position budgeting. They do another transfer that is approved by IDOT. It’s a benefit number. They come up with that based on vacation days, sick days, etc. They come up with a percentage of every dollar spent out of MFT Salaries and they tack on that percentage. That’s another transfer and that’s where that $700,000 comes from.
Mr. Ross explained that expenses under Admin are flat. They’re relatively flat under Benefits. Supplies are staying right where they were in 2016. It’s the same with Other Services and Charges and the transfers for Maximus into the General Fund and Liability like all the other special revenue funds do. The salaries for are staying relatively flat. The same is for Benefits and Supplies. Nothing is standing out at all under Engineering.
Under Facilities and Maintenance, it is about the same. He is hoping not to have to spend the $5,000 and $5,100. He is uncomfortable taking that out right now considering they only spent $500 there. That one will be what it is at the end of the year. If they don’t have to spend it, they won’t. It rolls back into the fund balance. The main increase is for Repairs and Maintenance and increases in Public Utility Services. That is probably going to come in lower, but he doesn’t remember checking that particular line item. Mr. Massa said this year it is right around $25,000. Mr. Ross thinks it will come in closer to $30,000.
Mr. Ross said he’s going to hit all the capital projects now. He asked the committee to keep in mind that the capital projects were approved by the Public Works Committee and the County Board at the last County Board meeting. In 2017, there is a hoist replacement to replace an in-ground hoist used to lift heavy equipment for performing maintenance and repairs. It is inspected once a year and it is definitely in need of replacement. They have been spending excessive maintenance money to keep it up and running. Mr. Massa noted that it’s actually down right now. Mr. Ross said they also need a dump truck snow plow replacement. That is for replacement of two 2009 International dump truck snow plow vehicles. They have the replacement of a 2005 Chevy 2500 pickup truck. Mileage as of almost a year ago was 149,826. They expect maintenance costs on that vehicle will likely rise rapidly. They have the replacement of a 2011 Ford F250, F450, or equivalent. There are also a couple of bridge repair projects for the Bridge Fund. They have identified bridge repair projects for next year, along with culvert repair projects, and road repair projects for all five years. Next year’s projects are listed in detail. Mr. Ross noted that when he got the estimates for the cost of the vehicle originally, normally when he gets them, they include an estimate for what they’ll receive for trade value. These do not have that in this. It’s not as thorough as he wants it to be, but it turns out just fine because whatever trade value they get will offset the amount they spend in cash for the vehicles. The budgeted numbers will be less.
Ms. Mayberry asked if they are buying or leasing these vehicles. Mr. Ross said they’re set to buy. Ms. Mayberry asked if they’ve thought about leasing for this department. She knows other departments lease. Mr. Ross explained that leasing can be a good idea. The Sheriff is exploring it and just started leasing last year. Unfortunately, leasing Sheriff’s vehicles at a couple thousand dollars for as many as he’s buying, they’re not comfortable with the county’s credit. They’re stopping him from being able to do that. They’re going to have to shift back to buying some cars for a little while and not lease every year to save as much as they were going to. Leasing can be explored as an option but he thinks it will be a challenge until they get the finances turned around.
Mr. Ross noted that Road Maintenance Salaries and Wages are very high. That again is because of the transfer. They’re spending it out of this fund after they receive...it increases revenue up top but then the fund that covers salaries shows where they’re spending it.
Machinery Maintenance is maintaining relatively flat. Employee Benefits, Supplies, and Sign Maintenance are flat. He asked Mr. Massa what the $1,500 under Sign Maintenance is for. Mr. Massa said it’s for the sign maintenance software they bought.
Mr. Ross noted that they are budgeting for a $242,000 deficit, leaving them, if they do spend all of the money budgeted in 2016 and 2017, with $1.4 million. Mr. Massa wants to maintain $1 million as a minimum. Mr. Ross believes they’ll be slightly higher than that. Mr. Ross noted that something to keep in mind, even though they may not be on the Budget Committee in 2019, if they expand it out through 2021 the fund balance goes down and down and down. The value of long-term planning here is that it identifies what will likely be an issue come 2020 that they need to start addressing. The way to address it, since the MFT will be drying up more so than can support the road projects they want to do... the options, which are unpalatable, include laying off employees, not doing as many road projects, and/or reducing capital purchases for equipment and delaying or foregoing them and dealing with the consequences. That is not something they need to address this year. It is something he is pointing out now because if this trend continues, they’ll definitely be talking about it more in future years.
Mr. Camlin said he has a question about the CIP and the highway road repairs. He noted that when the last stimulus package came out, there was a lot on TIGER shovel ready projects. Since they have a plan for that, he asked if those are considered shovel ready and if they can get TIGER grants again. Mr. Ross said he doesn’t know. Mr. Massa is actively looking at grants as they come out to see if any are applicable to currently planned projects. Mr. Massa explained that they were in on some TIGER grants three or four years ago. Some of them had some stipulations to be more of an enhancement fund. They’re (inaudible) strictly maintenance. The enhancement part doesn’t always apply. They do keep up on them.
Ms. Mayberry asked about the 2019 locker room addition to accommodate for male and female employees. She asked what the current situation is. Mr. Massa explained that there is currently only one locker room in the maintenance garage. They don’t have any female employees in maintenance. All it is is an open door, a urinal, and a stool with a sink in the middle. That’s the only locker room. It is more of a wishlist item. Mr. Ross said they’re trying to be proactive and if they get to that point, they want to have identified that it could be a viable need. When they get to that year or if they need it sooner, they want to identify that as a possible project that may be needed out there. Ms. Mayberry asked what is done if a female employee is hired before then. Mr. Massa explained that what they did way before his time is female employees would go across the street and use the female bathroom there.
Mr. Ross noted that Bridge Fund revenue is up about $40,000. They did a 5% increase on property taxes for the Bridge Fund.
For expenses, there is really not much except for projects. There’s a little bit of Salaries and Wages, a little bit of Benefits. The projects are for $660,000. Those are the projects he just identified. They’re still maintaining over a $1 million fund balance, which is higher than in 2015. That fund is doing okay right now. Mr. Massa noted those projects that were scheduled for this next year were pushed back a little bit. The $660,000 for a bridge is one they’ve already let. Mr. Massa said they let one in August for CH-46. It came in at $599,000. It was late enough in the year by the time they had the material in that they pushed it back. They’ll be able to start construction in the spring.
Ms. Palmer said she didn’t recall Mr. Massa having as much salaries out of here before. She asked if something is changing. Mr. Massa said they put something in there to cover an individual. If Lisa is on and does an inspection, they can cover her. If they do a culvert replacement or bridge work with their own staff, they can take it out of there instead of MFT. Ms. Palmer said it’s there as a contingency so they can spend it. Mr. Massa confirmed. He said it has $40,000 in there now to spend. They should be using it for when they do a County Aid project. They have done that, but they set up a different line item for that project and transfer it out of there.
Mr. Maranda asked if Lisa was certified so they don’t have to use Ron. Mr. Massa said for construction inspections. Mr. Maranda asked if Ron is still on board. Mr. Massa said for bridges. It’s two different things. The bridge project he was talking about, when construction goes on, he or Lisa will be inspector for that project.
Mr. Ross asked for the Motor Fuel Tax Fund, under TARP Funds, what TARP is. He noted that the estimate for revenue in 2017 is significantly lower. Mr. Massa explained that in 2015 and 2016, the TARP Funds should be two different line items. One should be TARP Funds and one should be Consolidated County. TARP is Truck Access Route Program. They can apply for it. If they meet the qualifications, they’re bumping roads up to Class III roads. All roads are 8,000 pounds. They changed that about five years ago. Class III is 8,000 pounds and some of the turning radii on roads going onto it have to be wide enough to accommodate a semitrailer. In 2016, they received $410,800. In Consolidated County, it’s a MFT and it’s $321,000 he believes now. Ms. Palmer said she doesn’t have a TARP Account at all anymore. It’s all Consolidated County. Ms. Palmer said they’ve already brought in $732,000 this year. Mr. Massa said some of that should have been TARP. $410,000 should have been TARP. $321,000 should have been Consolidated County. It can go under Miscellaneous Income. Ms. Palmer said she doesn’t even have a TARP revenue line. Mr. Massa said it only happens every so often, so he would put it under Miscellaneous. Ms. Palmer asked how much. Mr. Massa said $410,800. Mr. Ross said it would still be the same amount for the purposes of the spreadsheet. For accounting, they’ll need that.
Mr. Ross explained that for expenses, there’s a little bit out of Salaries and Wages. Expenses are staying relatively flat. It’s the same with Benefits. Total Admin is staying about the same.
Mr. Simmer asked why that TARP Fund went from $700,000 to $300,000. Mr. Massa and Ms. Palmer explained that it’s split. Mr. Massa added that the TARP funds are applied for every year. They may or may not get it. The $400,000 is gone. Ms. Palmer said Mr. Ross will need to add in a TARP line item and get that set up and add the money to it. Mr. Ross said he’ll wait until Ms. Palmer gets it set up and match what she does. Mr. Massa apologized. Ms. Palmer said it’s okay.
Mr. Ross explained that Supplies, Other Services, Outside Contractual, and Sign Maintenance are staying about the same. They’re not doing any salaries out of Sign Maintenance next year. If they end up doing any Salaries out if it, it will go somewhere else. At the end of the day, this fund is going down as well if they end up spending the whole thing from 2015 to 2017. That is another one they want to pay close attention to. They’re fine for 2017.
Mr. Camlin asked about efforts to change the Motor Fuel Tax. Mr. Swanson said it has to be affecting counties all over the state. Mr. Massa explained that the County Engineer Association, Township Municipal League, and all kinds of organizations are trying to figure out a way to remedy that. They don’t have solutions yet. Mr. Camlin asked if the proposed amendment will help or if MFT is completely independent of that. Mr. Massa said that the way he understands it, it would help. There are some funds, and he couldn’t say where, but supposedly they’re used for non-road work use. They’re going to put them all back in there and that should help. That is a start. There are other options out there.
Mr. Ross asked the committee to keep in mind that both the Bridge and Highway funds are only at half of what they are legally allowed to levy. Mr. Ross is not advocating anything, and certainly not this year, but there is a lot of room in addition to other cost cutting measures if push comes to shove in future years.
Mr. Ross noted that Mr. Massa has two other funds: Hillsdale and Zuma/Canoe Creek. Those are special taxing jurisdictions applicable only to certain property owners in a certain defined region. After Mr. Massa and Mr. Ross set this budget, Mr. Massa came back and is asking Mr. Ross to change line 522.00 to $5,000, line 523.00 to $5,000, and line 644.00 to $20,000. Mr. Massa added that when they did the five year budget, they didn’t put this in every year. They only get about $8,000/year in tax revenue in those. Those lines items are budgeted a little higher in case there is something that they need. They have $36,979 in there. They always budget more in case they have a failure on a levy, a pump goes out, or something major. If they don’t need it, they don’t spend it. Mr. Ross explained that this will not be negative because it won’t have been spent in 2016, but who knows what will happen in the next month in a half so they don’t want to say it won’t be spent for certain. Mr. Massa noted that Zuma’s fund is a little healthier. They have about $133,000. Mr. Ross said Mr. Massa wanted him to add $75,000 to line 644.00. Mr. Massa explained that this one gets inspected by the Corps of Engineers. There is always a chance that there could be something that needs to be repaired after their inspection. Mr. Ross said they were at $128,000. They’re going to come close to maintaining that if they don’t spend that $75,000 for 2016 or 2017. It’ll stay relatively flat unless they need to use it.
Ms. Palmer asked how much Mr. Massa wants budgeted for next year in 2017 for TARP. He said $0. She asked how much he wants for Consolidated County. He said $325,000. He thinks it’s more like $321,000. Mr. Ross said $325,000 is what it is now. Ms. Palmer said that’s actually in the TARP Fund.
Coroner Mr. Ross asked if Mr. Gustafson has revenues. Ms. Van Daele said not in the General Fund. Mr. Ross explained that Mr. Gustafson has General Fund money and his own special revenue fund. They’re kind of interchangeable in the sense that he tries to use what he can out of his special revenue fund to save the General Fund money. His special revenue fund will be down close to nothing at the end of the year. That’s because he is going to need a new vehicle and he absolutely needs this new vehicle.
Mr. Ross explained that the current vehicle is a 2009 Ford Expedition with over 132,000 miles on it as of February. Maintenance costs are rising. This is the vehicle he transports bodies in for autopsy up in Rockford. He would say as loudly as anybody is the last thing he wants is to get stuck halfway between here and Rockford with a body because his vehicle broke down. Mr. Simmer said especially with no air conditioning. Mr. Ross said he’s transporting today that homicide he had yesterday in Rock Island.
Mr. Ross noted that Salaries are about the same. Professional Services are rising. The state has been kind enough not to reimburse the county or pay some of the costs for funeral homes and storage that Mr. Gustafson has been doing, so unfortunately those costs are expected to go up next year. Mr. Simmer asked if they are supposed to cover those. Mr. Ross said they have been, but they aren’t any more. Ms. Palmer said they are not supposed to, but it’s been a big benefit. Mr. Ross said they’re just no doing it.
Mr. Ross moved on to the Coroner Fee Fund. That gets a little bit of revenue from cremations. He is really raking in the bucks for investment earnings -- $100. He tries to put as much as he can in there. This fund may be $7,600 in the hole, which it won’t be – it’ll just zero itself out. If he had to spend all of that money, when it comes down to some of the supplies and services and charges, if it runs out of money, it will become a General Fund expense. Mr. Gustafson doesn’t spend a dime over what he absolutely has to. He does a fantastic job and he is going to try to keep everything in the fund.
Mr. Camlin asked if Mr. Gustafson has any capital projects. Mr. Ross said just the vehicle replacement. It shows $35,000. It’s at $41,500. He updated that. He thinks they just upped the...Ms. Van Daele asked if he had to add an extension on it. Mr. Ross said he thinks they just upped the quote. Ms. Palmer noted that prices go up, not down.
General County Ms. Van Daele noted that General County doesn’t have revenues.
Mr. Ross explained that Employee Recognition has a little money budgeted. They’re not spending it right now, but in case the county or the County Board so chooses to, they’ve got a little bit of money budgeted. They are staying very flat for other Services and Charges. Everything is next to nothing.
Mr. Maranda asked about the $6,720 in trainings. Ms. Van Daele said they don’t do trainings every year. Mr. Ross said they don’t need it this year so they’re not budgeting for it.
Mr. Ross noted that there are transfers to the Recorder’s Doc Fund, transfers to GIS, and that just comes out of General County. That’s in and out. It just passes through. It should be the same number here as it is on the other fund.
Mr. Ross noted that there was some insurance coming out of General County and they moved that to Liability Insurance. Ms. Palmer said it never made any sense for it to come out of the General Fund. Mr. Ross said they put it where it belongs.
Mr. Ross explained that Communications is all of the phones and is staying pretty flat. Pretty much everything under Other Services is doing well. Total General County, he’s anticipating $130,000 less in 2017 than in this year.
Mr. Simmer asked why he has nothing for cell phones in 2017. Mr. Ross said there is a negative in 2015. He probably just wanted to wait and zero it out. Ms. Van Daele added that Communications is kind of an in and out. General County pays the bill and then they bill each department. The number they budgeted was always so they’re not over budget every time they try to pay a Verizon bill and are waiting for the reimbursements come in. Mr. Ross asked if they want $5,000 in there. Ms. Van Daele said no. It has to have a budget in it so they can pay the bill, but it won’t actually be a budgeted amount for the totals. It’s about $3,500 a month. Ms. Palmer said they have to put about a month and a half’s worth in there. It’ll get used and then reimbursed. It will never get used up.
Mr. Ross noted that there are a lot of things that have been zeroes forever. They copied it over from New World Systems. Ms. Palmer said they need it for history. Mr. Ross said he can go through it with Ms. Palmer and get rid of anything that will continue to be zeroes.
Mr. Ross added that he and Mr. Davis have been working with a gentleman they contracted with to review the contracts for the phones and cell phones and look at them in depth. He has already found $1,000/month of savings that the county was getting billed and shouldn’t have been. They’re splitting that savings with him for two years, but that’s still $6,000/year savings for the county at $500/month that they’ve already identified and implemented. They continue to look at all options to save money.
Human Resources Mr. Ross explained that the Salaries and Wages for Human Resources will be lower in 2017. There is one less employee over there. They eliminated a position over there and Ms. Covella and Ms. Monroe took over those job responsibilities. Mr. Clyde’s position will be eliminated halfway through the year. They hired an HR Generalist who will take over a lot of his work. Some of it, Mr. Ross’s position will take over. They’re reallocating work responsibilities and putting more work on employees. Hopefully that saves money.
Employee Health Benefits had been budgeted directly into one line item. They are now splitting that out for retirees and regular employees. It is about the same and it is what it is for those.
The capital project, they may or may not do. It is for flooring. The amount, if they actually do it, they’ll probably do a transfer and get it out of County Office Building. It’s definitely needed. Ms. Palmer asked if it’s budgeted and what it falls under. Mr. Ross said it’s on one page in the CIP and he doesn’t remember where. He allocated the expenses to various offices.
Mr. Ross said he’ll go back to Liability Insurance Fund in a minute because there are additional things for HR and Admin.
Administration Mr. Ross explained that Salaries are dropping just a little bit. That is because with the risk management plan, assuming the County Board approves it in November ... he’s meeting with Mr. McGehee tomorrow to go over it. The county has risk management program that the County Board adopted earlier this year. Since that time, a safety committee has been created and they have identified all of the specific risks to the county and have implemented a plan to address that risk management. Assuming the County Board approves the plan, it would then allow a certain portion of salaries to be shifted to the Liability Insurance Fund. That is going to be negligible. It is an appropriate amount for the work being done. If the County Board does not approve the plan, they will have to go back and shift the salaries from the Liability Insurance Fund back to the General Fund for the applicable ones. This is part of Ms. Gomez as risk management, part of Mr. Clyde while he’s still here, part of Mr. Ross, and a couple others.
Mr. Ross noted that he has budgeted $15,000 for Professional Services but does not anticipate using it. If they ever need to hire a consultant, that’s the line item he would do it out of. $15,000 is not a lot of money. He would certainly want something in there and his hope is they’re not going to spend it. Other than that, everything is right where it’s been. Ms. Palmer noted that if the referendum doesn’t go through, that’s something that could get cut right away.
Liability Insurance Fund Under the Liability Insurance Fund, Mr. Ross noted that most of the committee members were here when they went into closed session. If they talk about tort or work comp, he asked the committee to be careful what they talk about unless they go into closed.
HR is where the property taxes are receipted into. There is $2.3 million in 2015, $2.3 million in 2016, and $1.75 in 2017. They are dropping that as they talked about with how it relates to the ending fund balance of $383,000 next year, depending on how things play out. There is a lot of stuff that comes out of HR.
Mr. Johnston asked if it’s wise to drop that fund like that. If the sales tax doesn’t pass...Mr. Ross said they’ll discuss that on the 10th. If it doesn’t pass, that is one that they definitely need to discuss. Mr. Ross is comfortable with where it’s at, but knowing everything they know, it’s definitely something they should discuss.
For Salaries and Wages, there was $138,000 in 2015. That will drop to $33,000, which is a much more appropriate percentage in salaries, if that risk management plan is approved. Training and Education has a little bit directly associated with... Ms. Palmer said that should be under a different line. That’s an old number that they don’t use any more. It should be under 633.00. Mr. Ross said he’d make sure Mr. Clyde knows.
Mr. Ross noted that Unemployment, if this referendum doesn’t pass, they will need to talk about that. That’s what pays unemployment payments. If they have significant layoffs, that number will go up a lot. It’s one more they will address and identify if necessary.
Salaries and Wages would go to $27,104 under Mr. Ross’s office. FICA and IMRF and the appropriate...he doesn’t know why that’s so high. He needs to check those. That should increase the fund balance because he thinks those are too high. Ms. Palmer explained that they can’t split rates. Mr. Ross said that should be 0. Ms. Palmer said it should be paid out of wherever that person gets the majority of their salaries. Mr. Ross said he was almost certain of that because they did the same with health.
Animal Control Mr. Ross explained that Animal Control has a capital project for next year for a staff alert system. That’s to purchase a system that allows a staff member who needs immediate assistance to notify others. If someone is working in the back and gets attacked by a dog, now they can yell. It’s very noisy back there. It would be beneficial to have a panic system set up. Ms. DeYoung added that just last Sunday there were only three people at the shelter. If one person was back with the dogs and one person was up front, they won’t know until they don’t show back up at closing time. Mr. Ross added that it is a safety issue that should be proactively addressed before something bad happens. That’s all they have for 2017.
Revenues are doing pretty well. Ms. DeYoung has been very busy. Clinical and Surgical, Animal Adoption, and Registrations are going up from 2015.This year, they had budgeted a larger amount for transfers from the General Fund. Ms. Palmer is confident that even though there will be a negative fund balance at the end, there is enough cash that they will not need to do the transfer. They budgeted a $45,000 transfer for next year. They’re comfortable that even though the bottom number will be in the red, they should have enough cash. If it starts to get tough through the year, he and Ms. DeYoung have already talked and they will do an analysis of expenditure reduction by closing a day or two out of the week and seeing what that will save. They will then bring it to the appropriate committee and address it with them. They’ll continue to monitor cash and tell Ms. DeYoung to keep doing good work out there.
For expenses, Salaries and Wages went up a little bit from actuals. Ms. Palmer noted that even for PAWs ones, they’ll see expenses higher, but revenues from contributions offset that. Mr. Ross said thank you very much to PAWS for helping out.
Mr. Ross noted that Supplies are staying flat. Other Services and Charges went down from 2015 actual.
Ms. Palmer noted that Travel is doubling. Ms. DeYoung said it’s gas. They don’t travel. Mr. Ross noted that they could receipt that to a different G/L. Ms. DeYoung asked if that shouldn’t be in Travel. Ms. Palmer said it’s always been in Operating Supplies. Mr. Ross said they can always address that internally, but the dollar amount will be the same.
Mr. Ross noted that they have to pay a service fee since they accept credit cards.
Mr. Ross reiterated that they’ll see the negative number, but Ms. Palmer is confident that will be okay because they will have the cash to cover that. If it starts to look like they’re not able to, Mr. Ross and Ms. DeYoung will get together and develop options for the County Board to consider. Ms. Palmer noted that the cash amount comes from prior loans she already got. She’s not paying back the $200,000 that’s owed to the General Fund. Ms. DeYoung said she paid a good portion of that back. Ms. Palmer agreed. She said she paid $200,000 of the $450,000 due. Ms. Van Daele said some are operating loans. Ms. Palmer said that’s just to explain that they mean by her having the cash but being in the red. Mr. Ross said there’s no sense in her paying that back just to have to borrow it again. The cash is there. They’ll be monitoring it.
Mr. Maranda asked if the geothermal is ready for this winter. Ms. DeYoung said yes.
Ms. DeYoung suggested the idea of hitting up the villages. Milan, Silvis, and others use the shelter all the time. They don’t pay. Mr. Maranda noted that when he went out and talked to the mayor and the council, they said they took everything. Ms. DeYoung said they don’t. She knows they told him that. Mr. Maranda asked how long ago it was when he went to Silvis and Milan. He thought it had been five or six years. Ms. DeYoung said she sent Mr. Ross an email tonight just before she came here. She just got off the phone with Sangamon County and they bill per animal. She thinks they should start charging them or get their own shelter. All Animal Control actually has to do is dangerous and vicious. That’s how Peoria got other people to pay. Mr. Maranda asked how they get out of the contract they signed. Ms. DeYoung and Mr. Ross said they’re stuck for Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline. They signed a 99 year contract that says they’d take all of the animals. Ms. DeYoung noted that some municipalities are included in the Sheriff’s Department contract like Hampton and maybe Port Byron. Mr. Maranda said Rapids City, Cordova, and Andalusia. Ms. Mayberry asked if Ms. DeYoung knows for sure that some of them aren’t. Ms. DeYoung said Milan and Silvis. Silvis drops their animals off all the time and they don’t charge them. Ms. Mayberry asked what the comparable charge in Sangamon County is. Ms. DeYoung said she had it in her email to Mr. Ross. Mr. Maranda asked if they had to hold them for seven days and that’s what they figured it on. It’s a seven day holding before they adopt. Ms. DeYoung said she can get the figures. Silvis and Milan are two she knows aren’t included in the contract and that drop off animals regularly. Mr. Simmer asked if the Sheriff’s Department hot-potatoed her last year. He hopes it helped her. Ms. DeYoung said it doesn’t. She asked Ms. Swett and she said it was past practice. Mr. Maranda asked if Ms. DeYoung can get him a copy of Sangamon’s contract and he can go back to Silvis and Milan. Ms. DeYoung said Silvis used to give money every year and she doesn’t know what happened. Mr. Maranda said he’ll go address the board. Ms. DeYoung said she’d send a letter to Mayor Fox and he’d send money. Ms. DeYoung noted that Peoria does it per capita. Anything would help. Mr. Maranda asked her to get him some language and visit him.
Mr. Ross noted that they did recently deny a request to house chickens. Ms. DeYoung said it was from Rock Island. It doesn’t specifically say “chickens” in the contract, but they may have them with “any animals impounded.” She had to take a gator. Mr. Ross said he said no to chickens. Ms. DeYoung said they don’t have the storage facility for chickens.
Health Department Mr. Ross explained that Ms. Ludwig’s Fund is different. The County Board’s only authority over the Health Department is to set the levy, but the committee may want to hear from her about how they’re doing because they have participated in the CIP process to be part of the process and be thorough.
Mr. Ross explained that the Health Department’s plans are for a sidewalk repair next year. They have some sidewalk that’s cracked and is a tripping hazard. They have an update on elevator maintenance issues that haven’t been done. They also have the purchase of a backup generator for the vaccine refrigerator. Those are her capital projects for 2017. Mr. Maranda asked if they had to get a new unit up there for refrigeration. Ms. Ludwig said this is just emergency backup power. Mr. Maranda asked if the units are still in pretty good shape. Ms. Ludwig said they’re only about two years old. There are strict regulations for vaccines. They have to maintain temperature at all times.
Mr. Ross explained that under revenues, they increased their levy 3%. The net decrease to the rate that they’re talking about of 14.49% includes an increase to the Health Department levy of 3%. That puts them at an approximate fund balance of $1.1 million at the end of 2017. Mr. Ross reminded the committee that the Health Department is dependent in no small part on grants. If that shuts off, it would be nice to have something to dip into so they don’t have to cut a program immediately. Mr. Camlin asked if 2015 was when they put in a big increase. Mr. Maranda said that was when all the little stuff was going on with rents and they increased it $300,000. They weren’t sure who owned what. Mr. Ross explained that the fund balance gives them a little breathing room.
Ms. Palmer asked what is provided by law with the property tax funds that the Health Department doesn’t get grant funds for. Ms. Ludwig said a lot is infectious disease and environmental health. They are mandated to provide those services and to have diseases reported by doctors or hospitals, do surveillance, contact people who may be infected, and kind of contain diseases in the county. That’s absolutely necessary. Environmental health is water, sewage, and restaurant inspections. Those are the very core programs. They a have a lot of additional programs that are state or federally funded. Ms. Ludwig added that she empathizes with the County. Last year, the Health Department had to do layoffs. Now that the state has a stop gap budget and hopefully a full budget pretty soon, they have been able to recall back those employees. They do empathize with the county’s situation.
Ms. Ludwig noted that Mr. Guse retired after 41 years last June. They have him as a temporary contract employee because he’s a licensed Environmental Health Practitioner. Mr. Watts, the Sanitarian, had been promoted to that position. He has not taken the test to be a licensed Environmental Health Practitioner yet. Until he obtains that licensure, they’re contracted with Mr. Guse to provide the coverage. The state only offers that test a couple of times a year. They think he’ll take that test in the spring and then Mr. Guse will be officially done.
Community Mental Health Mr. Ross explained that the property tax levy is being raised 3%. Their levy will also increase 3%. That’s pretty much where the revenue comes from. Mr. Maranda and Mr. Pollard added that this is the first increase in a long while. Mr. Ross added that Mental Health is an important issue in the community. Addressing it is a very good thing that the county does.
Ms. Palmer explained that it’s just like the Health Department where they just set the levy. It’s based on the Mental Health Board.
Mr. Ross noted that there are a lot of different agencies that receive funding. Mr. Pollard explained that the Board takes about two days to do its budget. They have grant applications out. They distribute those to the Board members. They meet over a two day period to ask questions to the agency directors. On the third day they sit down and build the budget.
Mr. Ross noted that the fund balance is maintaining a steady $740,000 give or take.
Mr. Brunk noted that this is a very important function.
5) Consider FY17-FY21 Capital Improvement Plan
Item 5 was discussed as part of Item 4.
6) Closed session as per 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (11) – Litigation: when an action against,
affecting, or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent
The committee did not go into closed session.
7) Committee member opportunity for brief comments (no action can or will be taken
based on any comments from committee members but the matter might be placed on a future agenda for consideration)
Mr. Ross explained that the committee will meet tomorrow to finalize what they didn’t go over today and determine what to recommend to the Board to lay on display. The funds that still need to be discussed include Hope Creek, Veteran’s Assistance, FICA/IMRF, County Extension Education, and Child Advocacy. He’ll be doing all of those. Those are all relatively simple except Hope Creek. Mr. Ross said he’d talk to Mr. Heintz and see if he can be here tomorrow. If not, Mr. Ross will be doing those for him.
Mr. Johnston said he has a question on the levy. He was looking at the Assessed Valuation for 2017 and they tell him the sales ratios are 3.7 and 3.8. Mr. Johnston asked why they came back at 2.5%. Mr. Ross said he’d have to have Mr. Wilson answer that because he took the numbers from him.
Mr. Johnston asked if the $318,000 increase in the bond is the interest for the full year. Ms. Palmer said it would be two payments of interest and one on principal. Mr. Johnston said it increased $318,000. Mr. Ross said that’s for the courthouse.
Mr. Johnston said he knows they’re discussing Hope Creek tomorrow, but last year they left $1.7 million in that account. They didn’t do anything with that. This year they’re increasing that by another $100,000. He asked why. Mr. Ross said they can’t. Hope Creek is capped. Mr. Johnston said that with the valuation going up, it’s going to go up $100,000-something. Mr. Ross explained that the General Fund will capture all of the increase in the EAV that they can’t. The others aren’t going to. They will have a set dollar amount. Mr. Johnston said he understands that. He asked why they would leave it if they already have $1.7 million in there that didn’t come out last year. All that FICA and IMRF was left in there. Mr. Ross said Hope Creek needs every bit right now while they’re seeing if they can turn it around or not. Ms. Palmer added that they paid two years of the backlogged amounts due to the General Fund because of decrease to expenses. They aren’t keeping money in their accounts at all. They are spending every bit of the savings. Mr. Johnston asked how long they keep adding to this. $1.7 million last year was a gift and now they are doing it to themselves.
Mr. Ross handed out his notes. He noted that he has not sent them out and asked the committee to think about them tonight. This is what he plans to send out to the County Board prior to the meeting on Thursday. He noted that he has Hope Creek in there. Hope Creek, they have budgeted to have a surplus this year and next year. They are still aggressively working at improving finances through a variety of means, including auditing the expenses out there.
Mr. Johnston said he wishes Mr. Ross would get those numbers from Mr. Wilson. If it’s 3.8% and back down to 2.5%, they could possibly see what happened last year when the final comes in and it’s up several million dollars and certain property taxes skyrocket. Mr. Ross explained that the higher the EAV goes, the lower the rate goes for the county’s purposes. Ms. Palmer confirmed. Mr. Ross said that will lower their taxes even more. Ms. Palmer said the dollar amount doesn’t change on any other lev y except General Fund and Hope Creek. Mr. Johnston said they don’t do it with the General Fund and Hope Creek. Ms. Palmer said they can’t because they’re at the max. Mr. Ross explained that if this goes through, they’ll be levying $3.25 million less in 2017 than in 2016. That’s the dollar amount. If the EAV increases, that’s spread out amongst more people and lowers the rate. They’re trying to be conservative but accurate.
Mr. Camlin suggested sending out the budget in Excel form rather than creating a book. Mr. Ross said that it would save money and time. He will make only a dozen or so of the books.
Motion to adjourn: Mia Mayberry Meeting adjourned at 6:47 p.m. by Chair Richard Brunk