Rock Island County Committee of the Whole met April 11.
Rock Island County Committee of the Whole met April 11.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
1) Call to order and roll call
Committee members present: Richard Brunk, Larry Burns, Kim Callaway-Thompson, Dewayne Cremeens, Jeff Deppe, Ed Langdon, Kenneth Maranda, Mia Mayberry, Drue Mielke, Luis Moreno (arrived at 5:32 p.m.), Pat Moreno, Rich Morthland, Scott Noyd, Cecilia O'Brien, Ron Oelke, Robert Reagan, Ginny Shelton, Rod Simmer, Edna Sowards, Mike Steffen (via phone), Kai Swanson, Scott Terry, Brian Vyncke, Bob Westpfahl
Committee members absent: Don Johnston
2) Public comments
There were no public comments.
3) Approval of minutes from the March 14, 2018 meeting
Motion to approve: Brian Vyncke
2nd: Ed Langdon, Edna Sowards
4) Condition of Funds report
Mr. L. Moreno is present.
Ms. Palmer reported that she has a little bit of good news and bad news. In light of the information the County Board received from her and Mr. Davis earlier this week, they have a lot of the information she was going to speak on tonight regarding the General Fund and the Liability Insurance Fund. Her comments are going to be brief and she will refer mostly to questions about that information, as well as basically compiling what she and Mr. Davis said into picture format. Ms. Palmer noted that they should all see in front of them a graph that she just handed out this evening. She apologized for the chicken scratches on it. She just got into town from her Auditor’s Conference that was in Springfield this week and she wanted to add an explanation to her graphing.
Ms. Palmer explained that the General Fund graph is on top and the Liability Insurance Fund graph is under that. The great news is that she fully expects, as does Mr. Davis (she thinks he expressed that to the County Board in his letter), that Rock Island County is going to end up in the black in the General Fund and Liability Insurance Fund. She just wanted to point out that the reason why is because of increasing property taxes in the Liability Insurance Fund to feed the General Fund directly. That is what this picture shows. It is directly proportionate. What was budgeted is in blue and what actually happened over the past five years is in red on both graphs. You can see across the board that the dips and increases are directly proportionate. The deficit in the General Fund went right along with the increases in the Liability Insurance Fund. Ms. Palmer believes it is 95%, but it may be even more, of the Liability Insurance Fund’s revenues are property tax dollars.
Ms. Palmer noted, that being said, that they have basically jumped straight to the cash balances. The only thing she wants to point out on the Cash Balances page is that last month they had the cash balances in the funds. She always does a comparison between the current year as of the end of that month, in this case it was the end of March compared to the end of March of the prior year. If you count up and compare those, out of the 48 funds listed on the cash balances page, 28 funds’ cash balances have increased in the last 12 months from March 2017 to March 2018 and 20 of them are down. Usually she is just talking about 10 or so of them over and over again, such as the General Fund, Hope Creek, Animal Control, etc. They all know the reasons they have fluctuated and are down as far as cash is concerned. She has added to those. The reason for that is the cost allocation was billed and paid for many funds to the General Fund for what they owed in March of this year. If you refer back to last year, they were still undergoing the independent cost allocation study at this time of the year. They did not get those bills out until August 2017. The departments started paying the bulk of those in August and September 2017. From that, $723,000 was received by the end of March into the General Fund as revenue for the cost allocation from various other funds. Therefore it makes it look like those other funds have lower cash balances. Once they get to August and September, they will see those even out because they had paid the annual cost allocation at that point in comparison to the prior year. Last March, if you take the loans away from the General Fund, the General Fund would have been $1.697 million in the negative. This year they would be $796,000 without the loans. If you remove the cost allocation that came in five to six months earlier this year, the General Fund would have been $1.519 million in the negative. It has gotten a tiny bit better, about $150,000 better, if you compare this to the same time last year. She hopes that makes a little more sense in looking at those cash balances. Ms. Palmer offered to answer questions regarding anything they’ve talked about. She noted that there is nothing alarming in the budget to actuals. Things are going along just fine as she usually reports.
Ms. Palmer explained that all the Department Heads and Elected Officials in this county realize what is going on and keep themselves under budget unless they get new grant money or something, which is the majority of all the resolutions. They have federal seized funds that come in, for example. It’s always with new revenue that they make new expenses. Budget-wise, everybody is staying under budget and the fund balances are kind of going along as expected along with the cash balances at this point.
Ms. O’Brien asked if they’ve seen any better money coming in quicker from the state for offices like the Public Defender and State’s Attorney’s Office and things that are way behind from the state not paying. She was wondering if any of that has started to improve at all. Ms. Palmer noted that for Public Defender and State’s Attorney, Ms. O’Brien can always refer to the State of Illinois Payments report. Those have been paid up. The Public Defender payments, Assessor, and State’s Attorney are only paid up through February 2018. It’s always Probation or Court Services, the Probation Officer salary reimbursement, that is behind. Those are finally caught up to September 2017.
5) Staff reports
Ms. Ewert presented her Supplemental Sales Tax Report. That report always shows a three year comparison for the month. It has gone up a little bit from the past two months. Last month’s was a little bit short of the previous two years. She is hoping that at the end of their fiscal year, it all comes out to what Rock Island County had gotten in previous years.
Also on the monthly report is the current interest for March 2018, which was $29,458. The prior year interest in March 2017 was $7,516. She also put in a three year accrued interest amount and compared it to three years ago. The interest was at $598,405. Ending this March, it jumped up to $807,599. The monthly interest rate is currently averaging 1.66%. Exactly one year ago today there was movement on the previously flat interest rate. It started to rise. It had been at 0.35% for years. One year ago, it started going up and it continues to go up since then.
Ms. Ewert reported that the General Fund has no outstanding loans that need to be paid back at this time. Hope Creek still has the $1.5 million from the Liability Insurance Fund through an Intergovernmental Agreement. She asked the County Board to take note when they look at the monthly report, which has the balances in there, that they will have to add to the Liability Insurance Fund #127 that $1.5 million. That’s how much they really do have in that account. Hope Creek also owes $750,000 that was borrowed from their tax anticipation warrant from the bank. On March 28 they borrowed $175,000 from Working Cash to process a few emergency payments because their food vendor had threatened to stop the food. They had to get some payments out. They had to borrow money to get some emergency payments out. They have a total debt of $2.425 million that they have to pay back. She is still concerned about their financial state. Pretty much at this point, almost all of their tax levy dollars will go towards paying back their debt and they’ve even got some bonds. They’ve got some money left to borrow to cover their bonds. They’ll have to borrow to do that.
Ms. Ewert noted that she did contact the state. She contacted Representatives Halpin, McCombie, and Anderson and reached out this last month to try and get some old money the state owes to Hope Creek from November 2016. At least $0.5 million is owed. She sent a hardship letter to the Comptroller’s Office to try to get some of that money and is still waiting for a reply. The Comptroller’ Office was going to do further research, get ahold of Hope Creek, and try to figure out which residents’ payments they still have listed as not being paid. The Comptroller really can’t do anything. Whoever Hope Creek reports to at the state hadn’t even turned over those vouchers to the Comptroller’s Office. Somewhere in middle it is being held up. They are looking into that.
Ms. Ewert noted that she also wanted to mention on the Probation Officers that she usually does reach out to the state, to the Comptroller’s Office, as well at least once a month to try to get money. She thinks that in March, they actually got two months’ worth of payments in. There was one at the beginning and one at the end of the month, so they did recover some money last month.
On a plus note, the Federal Reserve last week again increased the interest rate with expectations to increase it at least twice more this year. That way the county will start to make a little more money on its investments. Ms. Ewert hopes to make at least two or three times what the county made last year. This will increase the rate of return on investments and double or triple the budgeted expectations. She spot checked some funds. This would be the fourth month into the new fiscal year and some of them are just about reaching what their budgeted amounts were. They should reach them, she thinks, in this next fifth month. They are on track to get higher returns on investments this year. That’s good news.
Mr. Mielke asked, given the state of Hope Creek’s finances, if everything has to be paid back within the year. Ms. Ewert said that’s usually the plan. Some of the internal funds could probably wait a little bit longer, such as Working Cash and Liability as long as Liability doesn’t need it. If the Liability Insurance Fund needs it, she will probably have to pay back Liability by going to an outside bank and drawing on Hope Creek’s tax anticipation warrant. They do have some availability left that she was saving for bonds and crises. Mr. Mielke asked if there are any legal issues Ms. Ewert knows of and if they are extending beyond the levy or if something would stop them from going back out. Ms. Ewert explained that with a TAW, they can borrow up to 85% of the levied amount.
They are below that. If you were to take their entire debt from internal funds.There is also a revenue anticipation note. With that, you can borrow on monies that are expected revenues, such as from the state. If Hope Creek knew an exact dollar amount, they could borrow on that as expected revenue and as it came in they would have to pay it back.
Ms. O’Brien noted that her question might be more for Mr. Davis, but she noticed in his report about Hope Creek that it looks like the cost per day for a person who stays there is higher than what the state will pay in almost every case. They’ve reduced the amount of Medicaid people they have from 50% to 45%. She is not complaining about that at all. She was just wondering if other nursing homes have the ability to fluctuate that. She asked if private nursing homes take more people and if they have to. It just seems like the burden of the lower payers comes to the county and it needs to be spread around a little bit more. She doesn’t know if that’s possible. She sees the numbers and what they are trying to get from the state, but it just seems like the problem could be fixed if more people were willing to step up and work and take some of the burden. She doesn’t know if anyone has the answer to that. Mr. Davis said he can check with Ms. Baker, but he’s certain other nursing homes have a lower percentage. Ms. O’Brien said she knows they do. Mr. Brunk said he thinks it comes down to the fact that the private sector can do what the private sector wants to do. Mr. Reagan noted that he did make a couple phone calls. He thinks Hope Creek is currently at 56% Medicare and Medicaid. Aperion Care in Moline is at 91%. Rosewood Care of Moline is at 58%. Ms. O’Brien asked if that’s Medicaid. Mr. Reagan said it is Medicaid and Medicare. St. Anthony’s in Rock Island right up the hill is 88%. Mr. Terry asked if Mr. Reagan happened to check on the beds available and capacity along with those percentages. Mr. Reagan said he did not. Mr. Vyncke explained that there is a distinct difference between what Medicare pays and what Medicaid pays. It’s night and day. Mr. Brunk agreed that they would those need separated out for an accurate analysis. Ms. O’Brien noted that is probably how they are hiding their low percentages of Medicaid. Ms. Palmer said she doesn’t think anyone has higher than Hope Creek’s daily. You have to completely separate those two. Medicaid is the thing the property tax dollars supplement. That’s why Hope Creek expects the percentages to be higher for Medicaid. Medicare actually pays for its own and then some. They want those completely separate. They don’t ever want to mix those up.
Ms. Ewert noted that payroll is this week. The General Fund balance after payroll this week should be a little over $2 million. The Hope Creek balance after payroll will be down to about $44,000. That amount is after payroll but before vouchers, which will be paid next week. They are trying to get money to some other vendors who are wanting to be paid. Then they have to start again trying to make the payroll in two weeks. Mr. P. Moreno asked if they are getting further and further behind on vendors or if those vendors just want the money that Hope Creek has been behind on from before. He thinks that before they were three months behind. Ms. Ewert said she believes some are as far back as November. That’s almost as far back as the state. They can see the correlation there. Mr. Simmer said he knows that the food vendor PFG was behind four months or 120+ days. The accounting firm was behind 120 days. He believes at least two others, if not three, were behind 120+ days. Ms. Palmer said they are still behind on Hope Creek payments to vendors from November now through March. In February the outstanding payments due were $1,407,000 as she reported. Through March it’s $1,563,625, so it increased $160,000 or so in one month’s time. Yes, they are falling further into the hole.
6) Finance & Personnel Committee report
Mr. L. Moreno reported that the Finance and Personnel Committee met on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. The committee approved registering Rock Island County for the E-Verify program, a free employment eligibility verification system from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The committee recommended approval of an I-9 Verification and E-Verify Policy and Procedure pending State’s Attorney review. This policy/procedure outlines the process the county will follow if an employee or applicant is found to be ineligible for employment through the E-Verify system. The draft policy has been sent to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The committee recommended approval of a vacation carryover request in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Due to extenuating family circumstances the committee agreed to allow an employee to carry over an additional 7.26 vacation hours.
The committee reviewed bids for two tandem axle snowplow trucks and recommended awarding the bid to Twin Bridges Truck City at $291,014.00.
The committee recommended approval of a Motor Fuel Tax Resolution appropriating funds for survey work. The survey work agreement was approved at last month’s County Board meeting. This resolution appropriates funds from MFT to pay for the work.
The committee considered delinquent tax resolutions as listed on the agenda. They also considered the Board member per diem/mileage report. They considered appropriation resolutions for funds and transfers of appropriations. The committee considered claims totaling $1,405,389.29 and Treasurer’s Disbursements totaling $3,393,202.06.
7) Governance, Health, and Administration Committee report
Ms. Mayberry reported that the Governance, Health, and Administration Committee heard reports from Mr. Davis, Mr. Camlin for Ms. Kinney, Mr. Gustafson, and Ms. Baker from the University of Illinois Extension.
The committee recommended approval of the Quad Cities Big Table Proclamation. Rock Island County is hosting a table at 11:00 a.m. on April 20 in the committee room. Registration and event details can be found at www.quadcitiesbigtable.com. Ms. Mayberry noted that the Chairman and the group have encouraged people to go to different areas as opposed to just coming to Rock Island County, which they are familiar with. She asked everyone to keep that in mind.
The committee considered the resolution regarding the courthouse, which was provided at last month’s County Board meeting. The Resolution failed in committee. Because the resolution authorized entering into the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that was also on the agenda, the IGA was not actionable and therefore was not considered.
The committee reviewed and accepted bids for the IACBM Discount Equipment list. John Deere was the only, and thus lowest, bidder. The county is not purchasing any equipment at this time; we are just the host for the bid.
The committee heard a vacation carry over request for an employee in the Circuit Clerk’s office and recommended approval.
8) Public Works & Facilities Committee report
The Public Works and Facilities Committee met on Monday April 9, 2018. The committee considered a Building Safety Month Proclamation declaring May 2018 Building Safety Month in Rock Island County. The committee recommended approval of the proclamation.
The committee considered ZBA cases as follows and recommended approval of all: SU- 18-203, Scott Hess & Leann Linden, Seasonal Recreational Use; SU-18-204, Chris Nordurft, Motocross Track; SU-18-205, Harry Scarf, Jr., Seasonal Recreational Use.
The committee considered a request from South Moline Township for the funds Rock Island County has collected as part of the attached agreements for fees in lieu of storm water detention. The committee recommended approval.
The committee reviewed bids for two tandem axle snowplow trucks and recommended approval of the bid of $291,014.00 from Twin Bridges Truck City.
The committee recommended approval of a Motor Fuel Tax Resolution appropriating funds for survey work. Last month, the County Board approved an Engineering Agreement with Ament Engineering to complete survey work. This resolution appropriates Motor Fuel Tax funds to pay for the survey work.
9) Approval of County Board agenda
Motion to approve: Brian Vyncke
2nd: Kai Swanson, Pat Moreno
Ms. Callaway-Thompson noted that she will be traveling for work and will be calling in for the meeting. She asked if Mr. Morthland would like to do the invocation. Mr. Morthland said yes.
10) Update on Ellis v. Rock Island County
Mr. Brunk asked if Mr. P. Moreno and the Litigation Committee are comfortable with the settlement agreed upon. Mr. P. Moreno said yes, it was lower than the authority they had given the State’s Attorney. Mr. Brunk asked if any County Board members need to go into closed for more information. No closed session was requested.
11) The Committee of the Whole may vote to enter into Closed Session for the following:
• 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (1) – The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.
• 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (2) – Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.
• 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 probably or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting.
The committee did not enter into closed session.
12) Board member opportunity for brief comments (no decisions will be made)
There were no additional comments.
Chair Richard Brunk adjourned the meeting at 6:00 p.m.