County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in
the Commissioners' Meeting Room of the Historic Courthouse on
were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chairman
Also present were: Associate County Attorney Sarah Zambon, Public Information Officer Intern Christina DeStefano, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, County Engineer Marcus Jones, Assessor/Interim Tax Collector Stan Duncan, Code Enforcement Director Toby Linville, Auxiliary Business Manager Bill Blalock, Soil & Water Conservation Director Jonathan Wallin, Captain Greg Cochran, Elections Director Beverly Cunningham, IT Director Becky Snyder, Library Director Bill Snyder, Lieutenant Vanessa Gilbert and Social Services Director Liston Smith.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The purpose of the meeting is discussion of the FY2009-2010 Budget.
Commissioner Young made the motion to adopt the agenda as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion to adopt the consent agenda as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Designation of Voting Delegates to the NACo and NCACC Annual Conference
The Board of
Commissioners is requested to designate Voting Delegates to the NACo Annual
Conference being held in
I move the Board designate Vice-Chairman
Charlie Messer as the Designated Voting Delegate, and Commissioner
FY2009/2010 BUDGET DISSCUSSIONS
Two DSS positions recommended for elimination
Chairman Moyer had shared in the prior week information from DSS with respect to the two positions and the amount of money required. These positions are needed and the county cost would be $43,886.00. Chairman Moyer made the motion that the two positions be included in the budget.
Commissioner Williams felt that the information received noted that no money would be required for the first year.
DSS Director Liston Smith confirmed that Federal money will be available for the first year at full cost and some of the second year. The maximum needed from the county the second year would be $43,000.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the motion on the floor. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Repair / replace E911 fiber link
Commissioner Young questioned the estimate and Bill Blalock responded that it is a hard estimate for replacement of the defective link. Obviously if they could acquire a company to dig it up and repair it, it would be less. The maximum cost would be $28,000.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion that the Board authorizes repair or replacement of the E911 fiber link.
Chairman Moyer was more comfortable with digging up the line to see what is involved.
Commissioner McGrady amended his motion stating that $28,000 would be placed in the budget for the fiber link with the request by the Board that digging be done before to see if repair is possible contingent upon this information being brought back before the Board prior to release of the funds. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Back-up generator for Information technology and
County Manager Steve Wyatt stated that in the current year’s budget, $300,000 was earmarked for the project. As the project was addressed, other issues became evident and there was concern of funding. This project was placed out to bid and has now come in under the original budget with a $265,000.00 bid. This will be presented to the Board at the July 6, 2009 meeting in order to award the bid.
Chairman Moyer requested that the budgeted monies be moved to Capital Reserve in order for it to be good for the coming year.
Marcus Jones stated that the current generator serves both the courthouse and the detention center but not adequately.
Chairman Moyer stated that there are no budget implications for the coming year, at some point action will be need to be taken to move the funds to capital reserve.
Finance Director Carey McLelland responded that the funds are in the general capital projects fund already for this particular project and will carry over to the next year without any action.
Commissioner Williams stated there is $1.508 million of accumulated interest from the construction period and asked if the need to draw from Fund Balance could be offset with this revenue.
Mr. McLelland stated that our 2006 COPs issue for three projects generated savings after project completion and this money must be used toward a debt service on that particular debt issue. The funds that are available from the capital projects could be transferred to the General Fund which would offset the amount needed for Fund Balance. This transfer was made.
Payment in lieu of taxes
A new estimate of what the County will be receiving in payment in lieu of taxes was provided in the amount of $14,162. This is an addition to the revenue side of the budget.
Tax Function Consolidation (review of the assessor’s / collector’s budgets)
Tax Assessor/Interim Collector Stan Duncan briefly updated the Board in regards to the tax budget. During the interim period they have worked with Amy Brantley, Selena Coffey, Steve Wyatt, and Jan Prichard in order to address some of the different perspectives and have resolved the difference down to $18,136.00, which is directly attributable to the difference in the property appraiser position which was cut in half previously; a decision by the Board. He feels they can meet the other items mentioned in the budget previously by changes made internally.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve this item with the figure of $18,136.00 addition based on Stan Duncan’s memo and explanation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer clarified that next year the excess money from the construction account (interest) would be used to pay the debt service for the first year and questioned the remaining funds.
Mr. McLelland stated there is $2 million but there are expenditures, invoices to be sent from the Community College of $1,508,000 leaving a net amount still available of approximately $500,000 to be used toward debt service.
No discussion was necessary at this time.
School Expansion Request – Current (187,017.00)
Chairman Moyer made the motion that the $187,017.00 for school expansion request – current remain in the budget. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner McGrady noted that across the state very few, if any, are providing additive monies for school purposes. The Board is putting more money into schools at a time when all neighboring counties are moving in the opposite direction.
Young requested that Dr. Page and Mr. Caldwell keep records for the Board of
Commissioners of Hillandale and
School Expansion Request – Capital (345,000.00)
Commissioner Williams was not in support of the increase as requested but proposed increasing the amount financed to cover all backlog items previously listed. He feels we are in a unique environment (low construction cost, low interest rates, and opportunity to create jobs) and there are projects on the table that need to be done and have been neglected for some time. He proposed that the full list (from May 19th) of capital items be taken care of for a budgeted amount of $4 million. He felt the estimated cost of $4.825 million as stated on the list could be completed for 20-30% less based on recent information provided by construction experts. To be safe he proposed we finance $4 million for these projects (an additional $1 million over the $3 million previously included) which is 17% less than the total of estimates from the May 19th list. He also proposed decreasing the term of financing from 15 years to 10 years since the list is for items having a 10 year life or more and some may be more repair type items. A $4 million debt for capital items on a ten year term, and assuming a 4% interest, a full year of debt servicing, would be $493,164.00. There has been discussion in regards to the $1.5 million for the replacement of the pipes at Apple Valley / North Henderson and he felt this should be put out for bid along with the construction bid of $8 million and only add $1 million, hoping that by putting them out for bid at the same time would result in cost savings. This would result in an increase to $9 million keeping all the terms the same. This will increase debt servicing by $89,941.00.
Commissioner Williams recommended reducing the term for BRCC from 15 years to 10 years and assuming a rate of 4% the debt servicing amount would be $246,582.00.
Williams felt that this should be coupled with the other capital projects in
considering an overall capital plan. He
recommended that of the $6 million previously projected, the county not finance
the full portion as originally planned but use funds in the Capital Reserve
largely from the sale of the old Planning Department building. There is approximately $2.5 million available
now. He recommended that as part of his
plan going forward two years, we finance only $3.5 million for the
Commissioner Williams made the motion that the Board
fund $9 million total for
commissioner Messer was concerned with putting everything together to fund this year with economic conditions as they are.
Commissioner McGrady requested that the finance director calculate the numbers presented by Commissioner Williams for verification.
Mr. McLelland stated that as far as a full year debt service on how the project were detailed by Commissioner Williams, the total debt service and what is actually rolling off of the next two fiscal years does match up; it is slightly different by about $11,000.00.
Commissioner Williams stated that he also came up with an amount of $11,624.00 for the difference.
Commissioner McGrady, speaking to the motion, felt that there is adequate reserves at this time and his hope is, while he is willing to spend down the reserves some but not deplete them due to concerns of what might happen in the next year, we can move forward because paying for these projects now is much cheaper than it will be in the following years. The physically conservative position here is to move forward at a time when we “get more bang for our buck.”
Commissioner Young was in agreement that this is an opportune time to catch up with the maintenance for schools at a cheaper fee. He would like to keep the Fund Balance at the current balance.
Williams clarified that the
Chairman Moyer was against the motion and felt that we are moving ahead during these very difficult economic times with the capital projects which will take all of our capital reserves and all of the interest money available and spending it all this year to get us by the first year. We are not only talking about $1 million from Fund Balance, there is also $700,000 in the budget that must be covered which is not included in the numbers, the ADM Funds. He felt that if the Board has extra money it should be spent on the maintenance for the schools and get caught up without incurring any long-term debt which will build up cost in the future. Next year and the year afterward will probably be extremely difficult years for the County and our people.
Commissioner Williams clarified that the capital funds from the sale of the King Street property would be utilized if the Board chooses to go ahead with the Law Enforcement Center, but another building on the corner of Main and Second Avenue could potentially be surplus and put up for sale as reserve. Mr. Williams felt that his plan would preserve the Fund Balance.
Chairman Moyer called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed 3-2 with Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Messer voting nay.
Commissioner Williams was not in favor of additional funding any of the “capital projects” for the schools during this budget, having included an additional $1 million in the financing for backlog items. In the budget there is a little shy of $500,000 for separate repair items (listed as “Capital” by the school). As we go forward, naturally we will have additional repairs (beyond the $4 million in projects being financed) and the figure budgeted for ongoing repairs and maintenance must be incrementally increased over the years.
Dr. Page spoke in regards to the suggestion of not funding the capital projects for $345,000.00. He would rather have the the $4 million than $345,000 as the problem is the on-going maintenance. If this is included in the $4 million he is okay.
Commissioner Williams and Chairman Moyer responded that this was not their intent. Commissioner Williams stated that there was an amount already inclusive in the budget just shy of $500,000 for maintenance and that the $345,000 was additional funding requested by the schools. He referred to a list of items from the May 19th meeting and stated that the amount already budgeted would take care of most of the items on the list.
Commissioner McGrady stated that the proposal was to add roughly $3,400,000 in capital projects and the bottom line is that we are at $4 million which might be a slightly different mix than what was proposed but the reason why is a desire to move out some of these 10 year life projects at a point in time where it appears to make economic sense. Therefore the schools are not being left without maintenance money; they are just not getting the expansion on the side that can be capitalized. The Board is not allocating monies directly for specific projects here, a lump sum is being given in order to move down the list of items which is the school boards function to figure out which will be done.
Commissioner Williams made the motion that the Board does not approve the school expansion request for capital budget by $345,000.00. All voted in favor and the motion passed.
Construction Control Proposal
County Manager Steve Wyatt stated that the Board and staff discussed the range of $9,000.00 per month to act as the owner’s representative in all of these projects. There are several different options. The first is to act as the owner’s representative at a proposed cost for the project manager of $6,751.00. It was suggested by Mr. McClure that a not to succeed cost of $1200.00 per month for travel and lodging for that individual and the folks accompanying him depending on the technical issues. This comes out to $7,950.00 per month which is well under the $9,000.00 target. The other thing discussed was the possibility of bringing down the travel number further by use of a small house, adjacent to the landfill, acquired by the County several months prior and utilizing this as a place where the project manager could have an office and be housed. The possibility of using a fleet vehicle has also been discussed further reducing the $1200.00 per month as far as the project manager is concerned. The cost management program, which is different from the day to day supervision of the project and is a cost reduction plan, that would act basically as value engineering and review of everything from start to finish. A cost was provided to do the study and also that the Board could amortize that basically through the life of these projects which are estimated to be the next three years which increases the monthly total. Mr. Wyatt has spoken with other folks about project management, but none of them to the level of the value engineering. When you look at just the project management and the cost being proposed, this would be in the ballpark with anyone else.
The first option would be roughly $8,000.00 and the second option roughly $9,000.00.
Mr. Wyatt stated, based on the references, there is an upfront cost of $50,000 and then the project cost of the on-going project management. If you amortize the value engineering you are getting into a situation where basically you are committing for three years which is an issue that he felt the Board would not be comfortable with. It could be fashioned in such a way that should the Board choose this option, there would be a settlement for the unpaid part of value engineering. Looking at the impacts on the budget, the possibility to reap a significant savings on the value engineering with the commitment they have made is that the value engineering quote; “pays for itself.”
Commissioner McGrady made the motion that the Board provides funding in the budget for the owner representative position as proposed by Construction Control Corporation but at a monthly estimate of $8,000.00.
After further discussion Commissioner McGrady amended his motion not be inclusive to Construction Control Corporation but to a company or individual chosen at a later date by the Commissioners. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Fee Schedule for Planning
Chairman Moyer noted that a request had been made for review of the fee schedule. The proposal to move ahead with the budget includes the old figures. He directed staff to study the issue and bring it back to the Board at the second meeting in July to see if revisions are necessary.
Commissioner McGrady stated that the fee schedule can be changed at any point during the year and supported the proposal.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion that the Board directs staff to prepare a budget ordinance to incorporate the decisions made during this meeting and then bring it back after a recess for a vote. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
A recess was taken in order for county management staff to amend the proposed budget ordinance.
Chairman Moyer called the meeting back to order.
County Manager Steve Wyatt presented the budget ordinance (with changes from today’s meeting) at $109,545,323.00 and a continuing tax rate of .462 per hundred. A copy of the ordinance is attached hereto and incorporated as a part of the minutes.
Assistant County Manger Selena Coffey noted that the only change is under the Solid Waste Fund where a fee provision has been included basically changes to the fees associated with this fund are scheduled to become effective August 1, 2009. The reason for the delay is that staff needs to notify public of the changes to the fee schedule and did not have time to do this since this is one day before the adoption of the budget is required.
Chairman Moyer noted that once the budget is adopted there are many things that cannot be changed, however the fees inside the budget can be changed legally as necessary.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion that the Board adopts the budget. The motion passed 3-2 with Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Messer voting nay.
Commissioner Messer made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:55p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Teresa L. Wilson, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman