MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

HISTORIC GLYNN COUNTY COURTHOUSE

701 “G” STREET, 1ST FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011 AT 9:30 AM

 

PRESENT:                     Tom Sublett, Chairman, District 2

                                    Amy Callaway, Vice Chairman, District 1

Richard Strickland, Commissioner, District 3

Mary Hunt, Commissioner, District 4

Jerome Clark, Commissioner, District 5

Clyde Taylor, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

                                    Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2

                                   

ALSO PRESENT:           Alan Ours, County Administrator

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

Cindee Overstreet, County Clerk

 

 

1.         Discussed the FY 12 recommended budget

 

County Administrator Alan Ours and Finance Director Phyllis McNicoll presented the Board with the FY 12 recommended budget. Excerpts from Mr. Ours’ budget transmittal report are provided in italics.  The Board received information only; no action was taken.

 

The goal of the budget team was to present a balanced budget to the Board of Commissioners that was below the level of funding for fiscal year 2010-2011 and one that maintained the current level of services.  This has been accomplished and the proposed General Fund Budget for next fiscal year is approximately a quarter of million dollars less than the current year and maintains the current level of services. 

Since fiscal year 2009-2010 the General Fund Budget has been reduced from $56,114,583 to the proposed budget of $49,896,866 for fiscal year 2011-2012 or a total reduction of $6,217,717.  During that same period of time 27 positions have been eliminated.  During the last three years the County has made a significant effort to reduce the level of spending and maintain the level of services that were provided.  I believe that the County has reached a level that any further budget reductions will result in the county not being able to provide all of the services that it provides currently.  If the funding level was reduced from the recommended level next fiscal year the Board will need to consider from a policy perspective which services to reduce.  If the assessed value of property continues to decline in future fiscal years adjustments in the services provided will need to be made or an adjustment in the millage rate will need to be made.  However, as the economy rebounds property values should stabilize and local sales taxes should increase.

 

General Fund:

 

The General Fund is balanced using fund balance in the amount of $1.8 million.  The revenue also includes the use of $200 thousand that was designated in the fund balance for Building Inspection.  The General Fund is summarized below:

 

Actions

FY 2010

Approved

FY 2011

Approved

FY 2012

Recommended

Increase Revenue /Expenditures

Revenue

$56,114,583

$50,173,841

$49,896,866

($276,975)

Expenditures

$56,114,583

$50,173,841

$49,896,866

($276,975)

Difference

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

 

Expenditures

The General Fund budget as compared to FY10 and FY11 is shown below:

 

Function

FY 2010

Approved

FY 2011

Approved

FY 2012

Recommended

Percent of Change

Elected/Appointed

$27,636,940

$26,836,432

$27,047,904

.8%

Outside Agencies

2,020,821

2,002,696

2,024,342

1.1%

Administrative

26,456,822

21,334,713

20,824,620

(2.4%)

     TOTAL

$56,114,583

$50,173,841

$49,896,866

(.6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personnel

A historical report reflecting the changes in the number of budgeted full-time equivalent positions over a period of fourteen years is attached.  The administrative departments have seen an overall decrease in the number of positions by 1.1%, while departments of appointed officials’ positions have increased by 14.8% and offices of elected officials’ positions have increased by 12%.

 

The FY12 budget includes the following personnel changes:

Addition of 2 Detention Officers in the Sheriff’s Office

Deletion of 2 positions in Administration        

Assistant County Administrator

Maintenance Worker – Facilities

Deletion of 7 positions at Public Works:

Public Works Director

Administrative Assistant

Administrative Technician

Traffic Technician

Trades Worker

2 Equipment Operators

Deletion of 1 position in Property Appraisal

Administrative Technician

Deletion of 2 positions in Engineering

County Engineer

Construction Inspector

Deletion of 1 temporary Administrative Technician in Board of Equalization

 

The deletion of these positions will result in savings of $504,789.  With the exception of the Assistant County Administrator position, the positions being eliminated are vacant.  It should be noted that the County Engineer and Public Works Director positions are vacant for this fiscal year only.  At this point in time, it is anticipated that next year’s budget will include funding to combine the County Engineer and Public Works Director into one position.

                                                                                                                                                                       

 

In addition to the personnel changes shown above, significant budget reductions were made in FY10 that affected most employees in the County and those reductions were carried over into FY11 and are recommended for carryover into FY 12.  Those changes are shown below with annual savings:

 

Elimination of Employee Merit Increases – all funds                                                              (737,884)

Career Track – all funds                                                                                                                      (225,326)

Tuition Reimbursements – all funds                                                                                                (95,543)

Wellness Bonus – all funds                                                                                                                  (41,861)

Sick bonus – all funds                                                                                                                            (37,331)

Employee Annual Picnic                                                                                                                        (  7,450)       

 

For the past three years, the County Administrator has worked closely with all departments to avoid or postpone filling vacant positions.

 

One Time Cost-of-Living Pay Adjustment

I believe that County Employees are the number one asset of County Government.  In the last three years employees have been asked to do more with less for each consecutive year and most employees have had to absorb additional duties due to the elimination of several positions and the increased amount of work.  In fiscal year 1999 the county had 745 employees compared to 776 in fiscal year 2011-2012, which reflects an increase of 31 employees.  However, in the public safety departments a total of 85 positions were added during this period of time.  This means that a total of 54 positions were eliminated in other departments during this period of time for a net increase of 31 positions.  Most other departments either lost employees or have had the same number of employees for the last 13 years.  During this same period of time the County has grown by a twenty percent increase in population as well as a large increase in the annual number of tourists to the county.  Based on this increase every county department has had an increase in their level of work.  There is no question that county employees are producing more work than they ever have. 

 

As noted above each year a total of approximately $1.2 million dollars was included in the budget for merit increases and other benefits, which were eliminated two years ago.  I believe it is important for employees to receive a one-time pay adjustment to help offset increases in food and gas and the loss of the above benefits.  It is recommended that the funding for a one-time pay adjustment of three percent be taken from the county fund balance.  The current estimate of the General Fund Fund balance is $30 million dollars, which is expected to increase at the end of the current fiscal year.  One of the reasons for the increase in the Fund Balance is due to county employees conserving resources and trying to hold off on any expense that was not absolutely necessary.

 

Operating Changes

While total General Fund expenditures are under last year’s level, some departments’ operating budgets show an increase.  The increases are attributable primarily to higher costs in utilities, workers compensation and fuel.   The Joint Water and Sewer Commission is proposing a 16.5% increase to old County system users and a 7.5% to old City system users.  Electricity costs are expected to increase by 8.7% plus fuel surcharge.  Workers compensation increased by 28% due primarily to continue payment of high expense claims incurred in previous years.  Gasoline and diesel prices have increased in the last nine months by approximately 36% and 46%, respectively.

 

The majority of departments decreased operating expenditures, but due to these increases, some departments show an increase in their operating budgets.

 

Some purchases have been delayed due to budget limitations.  The purchase of 700 mHz digital radios for Fire, Police and Sheriff has been postponed until the next fiscal year due to budget constraints.  These radios must be replaced by 2014 as the existing system will not be supported after that time.  The total cost to replace these radios is approximately $1.8 million. 

 

Capital

The General Fund has $182 thousand for capital equipment, a reduction of $424 thousand from the current fiscal year.  Included in this amount are:

                ADA Compliance Improvements                                                $100,000

Replacement of Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator                    31,000

Animal Control Van                                                                        38,981

Kings Park Tennis Courts Resurfacing                                     12,000

 

The Budget Team is recommending that the annual regular EMS Squad replacement be funded from SPLOST.

 

With the exception of the Animal Control van, no vehicle or equipment purchases are being recommended, although vehicles in the light fleet meet replacement criteria.  Only three light vehicles, other than public safety vehicles purchased with SPLOST funds, have been purchased in the last three fiscal years. The County purchased a transport van for Animal Control in FY09 and an Inmate Detail van and Juvenile Court van in FY11.

 

Options for Additional Reductions Not Affecting Levels of Service

·         Interchange lighting - Glynn County currently spends $160 thousand annually for lighting (maintenance and electricity) at Exits 29, 36 and 38.  The County entered into an agreement with Georgia Power to light Exit 42. Currently, there are no lights at that exit.  Staff is working with Georgia Power and Okefenokee Rural Electric Corporation on cost-reducing measures which will be brought to the Board.

·         Street lights in subdivisions and main thoroughfares - Several years ago, Glynn County ceased placing street lights in subdivisions.  However, there are lights in previously existing locations that the County continues to pay for. Also included in this amount is lighting on main thoroughfares.  The number of lights in both locations might be reduced.  The annual cost of street lighting is $244 thousand.

 

Revenue

A summary of the General Fund revenue as compared to FY11 is shown below:

 

Description

FY 2011

Approved

FY 2012

Recommended

Increase or (Decrease)

Ad valorem taxes

$24,763,563

$22,302,100

$(2,461,463)           

Sales taxes

11,229,000

10,945,000

(284,000)

Other taxes

3,689,400

  3,894,657

205,257

Charges for Services

  4,495,363

  4,565,696

   70,333

Intergov’t revenue

688,542

755,030

66,488

Other Financing Sources (Accommodation Excise & Insurance Premium Tax)

 

2,415,179

 

2,465,134

 

49,955

Use of Fund Balance

200,000

2,054,614

1,854,614

All other revenue

  2,692,794

  2,914,635

221,841

TOTAL

$50,173,841

$49,896,866

$(276,975)

 

The FY12 revenue budget reflects changes in almost all areas of revenue.  The bases for these changes are discussed below:

 

Ad valorem taxes

The FY12 proposed ad valorem tax budget has been reduced over $2.4 million in anticipation of a 15% reduction in the property tax digest as compared to last year’s revised budgeted revenue.  When the millage rates were set in 2010 (rates remained the same), revenue reflected an increase of $1.74 million over original budget.  The original budget was based on a 12% decrease in the digest, but only a 6% decrease was realized.  More specifically, when the FY 11 budget was approved in June, 2010, the estimated ad valorem taxes were $24.7 million.  When the millage was set by the Board in August, the budget was amended to reflect the increased ad valorem tax at $26.2 million. The 15% decrease is calculated on the difference between the amended FY11 revenue of $26.2 million and the FY 12 proposed revenue of $22.3 million dollars.  This is the second reduction in the property tax digest in the same number of years.  Property taxes amount to nearly 50% of the total General Fund revenue.

 

The proposed budget is based on the assumption that the Board will maintain the property tax millage rate the same as the current year’s 5.673 mils.  According to the GA Department of Revenue website, Glynn County’s millage rate ranks 13 among the 159 counties.

 

Sales taxes

Through February, sales tax has shown a decrease of 9.1% compared to the same period in FY10.  Confidence in sales tax revenue provided by the state is not high since Accommodation Excise Tax revenues are above last year’s levels by 8%. In addition, fuel cost increases do not appear to have positively affected sales tax revenues even though gasoline and diesel prices have increased.

 

Charges for Services

·         Based on FY11 revenues, ambulance fees are projected to increase $200 thousand

·         Commissions on taxes decreased $262 thousand due to the assumed decrease in the tax digest

 

Intergovernmental Revenue

·         This revenue source shows increases in the transportation and Federal Highway Administration grants

·         Police Highway Enforcement and Traffic (H.E.A.T.) Grant revenue decreased by $82 thousand as the grant ends on September 30, 2011.  The two police officers and vehicle costs funded by the grant are budgeted for October 1 through June 30, 2012 in Police Patrol with funding provided by General Fund revenues.  In FY 08, Glynn County accepted the three year H.E.A.T. Grant to provide two police officers and related expenses for highway enforcement.  The grant ends on September 30, 2011.  The total cost to fund these positions is $120,504.  For FY12, the H.E.A.T. Grant will provide $30,126 funding.  To continue to fund these positions after September 30, the General Fund will need to contribute $90,378.  The continuation of this program is recommended.  Funding for the period after September 30 is included in the recommended budget.

 

Other Financing Sources

·         Accommodation Excise Tax Fund transfer increased by $152 thousand due to 17% increase in Accommodation Excise taxes (bed tax).

·         Insurance Premium Tax Fund transfer decreased by $84 thousand based on actual receipts in FY11. 

 

All Other Revenue

Based on FY11 revenue, these fees are projected to increase/decrease as reflected:

·         Building Inspection Fees and Permits and Zoning Application Fees decreased by $66 thousand

·         State Court Fines and Fees increased by $250 thousand

·         Cable Television Franchise Tax increased by $120 thousand

Special Revenue Funds:

Accommodation Excise Tax Fund

Purpose:              Reflects revenue from the 5% Accommodation Excise Tax (bed tax) and transfers to tourism-related programs.

 

Status:                  The Accommodation Excise Tax fund budget as presented reflects an increase of $632 thousand.  This fund is balanced.

Alternate Dispute Resolution Fund

Purpose:              This is fund was created in FY10 by order of Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams which reflects revenue from each court in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.  The assessment of additional court costs in the amount of $7.50 for each civil case filed in said courts will be used to fund a court-annexed mediation program in the Circuit. 

 

Status:                  This fund is budgeting revenue over expenditures of $30 thousand.

Drug Abuse and Education Fund

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue generated from court fines and used for drug abuse treatment and education.

Status:                  Revenues of $6,500 in rehabilitation fees are budgeted in this fund.  The proposed expenditure budget includes a transfer to the Drug Court Fund in the amount of $6,011 as requested by Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams.  This fund is balanced.

Drug Court Fund

Purpose:              Reflects the expenditures and revenues for the Superior Court Drug Court program.

Status:                  Revenues include a transfer from the Drug Abuse and Education Fund in the amount of $6,011.  This fund is balanced with the use of $42,494 from the fund balance.  Total expenditures budgeted amount to $691 thousand. 

Emergency 911 Fund

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue for the City and County’s Joint Public Safety Communications Department (JPSCD) which operates the E-911 system.

Status:                  The transfer from the General Fund to fund the County’s portion of the JPSCD expenses will decrease in FY12 by $38,862 compared to the FY 11 approved budget.  This fund is balanced with revenues and expenditures by $2,641,551.

Fire Protection Fund

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue for fire protection in the fire protection districts.

Status:                  This fund is balanced with revenue and expenditures of $6,699,983, an increase of $489 thousand compared to the FY11 budget. The Fire Fund has a fund balance of $4 million which equates to 7.2 months of operating expenditures.  The proposed budget includes use of fund balance in the amount of $1.2 which will decrease the fund balance to 5 months of operating expenditures.  If the fund balance is not used, it may be necessary to raise the millage in this fund.  The millage rate history for this fund reflects a decrease over the last ten years from 2.02 mils in 2001 to 1.344 mils in 2011.  If a decision were made not to use fund balance for FY 12, an increase of .306 mils will be necessary which translates to an increase of $12 for a $100,000 home.  Unless the service level of the Fire Department is reduced, a millage increase may be necessary in FY13 or 14.

Insurance Premium Tax Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects the revenue from the Insurance Premium Tax and transfers to programs benefiting residents of the unincorporated areas.  These funds are distributed to the Fire, Sea Island Police and Sanitation Collection Funds and fund a rollback in the General Fund millage rate for the Jekyll Island property tax district.

Status:                  The expenditures and revenue have decreased by $69 thousand to $2,477,000 and is based on actual tax revenue received in FY 11.  This fund is balanced.

 

Jail Commissary Fund

 

Purpose:              This is a fund which reflects expenditures and revenue generated from the sale of commissary items to inmates in the Glynn County Detention Center. 

Status:                  Revenue is based on FY 11 actual plus a transfer from the Jail Operations Fund and expenditures are amounts requested by the Sheriff to fund inmate-related items.  This fund is balanced with the use of the Jail Commissary Fund fund balance of $43,279.

 

Jail Operations Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue generated from court fines and used for jail operations, renovation and construction.

Status:                  This fund is balanced with revenues and expenditures of $130 thousand.

 

Juvenile Services Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue generated from fees paid by juveniles who receive supervision in Juvenile Court.  The supervision fees are used to fund community based services.

Status:                  This fund is budgeting an excess of revenue over expenditures of $5,200.

 

Law Enforcement Block Grant Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue from a Department of Justice Assistance Grant which is used by the Police Department for capital purchases such as weapons, computers and surveillance equipment. 

Status:                  This fund includes budgets for internal services charges.  Should additional grant funding be approved, this budget will be revised to reflect the additional funding.  This fund is balanced.

 

Police Seizure Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects funds received from the seizure of property and cash.  Revenue is generated through court ordered forfeitures and seizures and is only budgeted when funds are received. 

Status:                  The fund reflects $5,020 in interest income and internal service charge expenditures.  This fund is balanced.

 

Sea Island Police

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenditures and revenue for the police substation on Sea Island.  Fifty percent of the expenditures in this fund are funded through a transfer from the Insurance Premium Tax Fund.  The remaining 50% is funded through ad valorem taxes in the Sea Island special tax district.

Status:                  The Sea Island Police Fund expenditure budget amounts to $374,307 and the fund is balanced with the use fund balance of $3,587.

 

Sheriff’s Seizure Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects funds received from the seizure of property and cash by the Georgia State Patrol.  This fund is funded through court ordered forfeitures and seizures and is only budgeted when funds are received. 

Status:                  The fund reflects $457 in interest income and internal service charge expenditures.  This fund is balanced.

 

Capital Projects Fund:

 

Buildings, Roads & Equipment Fund

 

Purpose:       Reflects major purchases of Buildings, Roads & Equipment.

Status:          No major purchases are budgeted in this fund for FY12.

 

 

Enterprise Funds:

Revolving Loan Fund

 

Purpose:              This revolving loan fund was created through a GA Department of Community Affairs grant.  There are currently three loans outstanding which are serviced by the Finance Department.  Expenses reflect internal charges for administrative costs for the grant program.

Status:                  Revenue exceeds expenses by $10,208. 

 

Solid Waste Collection Fund

 

Purpose:       Reflects expenses and revenue for Solid Waste Collection and includes curbside

                          collection of recycling, white and brown goods collection and litter control and enforcement.

Status:                  The Solid Waste Collection Fund expense budget for FY12 is $4,243,105 which exceeds revenue by $121 thousand.  This budget is balanced with the used of Retained Earnings in the amount of $121,220.  The residential collection contract is being bid out this year and this budget will be updated when the new rates are approved.  When those costs are known it is expected that the Sanitation Assessment and/or Sanitation millage will need to be increased.

 

Solid Waste Disposal Fund

 

Purpose:       Reflects all revenue and landfill post-closure expenses for the Solid Waste Disposal Fund.

Status:          This fund is balanced with revenues and expenses of $42,968.

 

 

Internal Services Funds:

Administrative Services Fund

Purpose:              Reflects expenses for County Administration, Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology, all of which provide support services to County departments.

Status:                  This fund is balanced at $3,396,447.

 

County Insurance Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenses and revenue for property and liability coverage.

Status:                  Revenues and expenses in this fund have increased by $60,175 primarily due to an increase in insurance claims.  This fund is balanced.

 

Employee Benefit Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenses and revenue for the employee insurance package, workers compensation and unemployment benefits.

Status:                  Revenues and expenses have increased by $135,763.  This fund is balanced.

 

Pension Trust Fund

 

Purpose:              Reflects expenses and revenue for the employee pension fund.

Status:                  Revenues and expenses have increased by $211.  This fund is balanced.

 

The above represents a balanced budget in each fund of the overall county budget and keeps the millage rate at the current level.  Although the budget calls for $1.8 million dollars from the General Fund Fund balance approximately $860,000 is for a one time pay adjustment and is not reoccurring

 

2.         Received information regarding a new county brand and logo     Link

 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The Board of Commissioners did not hold an executive session during this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Tom Sublett, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County , Georgia

Attest:

_____________________________

Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk