MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

BUDGET WORK SESSION

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

W. HAROLD PATE BUILDING

1725 REYNOLDS STREET, 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM          

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 AT 3:00 PM

 

PRESENT:                     Bill Brunson, Chairman, District 4

Michael Browning, Vice Chairman, District 1

Peter Murphy, Commissioner, District 2

Richard Strickland, Commissioner, District 3

Allen Booker, Commissioner, District 5

Mark Stambaugh, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

                                    Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2

 

ALSO PRESENT:           Alan Ours, County Manager

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

 

Discussion and consideration of the following:

 

1.         The FY 18 proposed budget

 

The total proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 is listed as follows by fund:

 

Budget Increases

Areas of significant increases are outlined below:

Pay Range Adjustment – During FY15 a pay study was conducted by Archer Consulting, which was implemented during the last two fiscal years. The proposed budget for FY 18 moves the pay ranges forward by 1.3% and provides county employees a 1.3% Cost of Living adjustment. This is consistent with the recommended method to keep the pay plan current. The amount of the COLA is $507,390

Merit Increase for County Employees –The proposed budget includes $992,949 to continue the merit program that was reinstituted by the Board in FY15 with a maximum merit of 3%.

Career Track - The proposed budget includes $191,922 to continue the career track program that was reinstituted by the Board in FY16.

Public Safety Officer Pay Adjustment – In response to turnover rates in public safety positions and the State of Georgia’s pay increase of 20% for all public safety officers, the proposed budget includes a pay adjustment of 10% for public safety officers.

Overtime Pay for Public Safety Personnel – Due to turnover in public safety positions, overtime pay has increased over the last three years. The proposed budget includes funding for overtime that is consistent with the amount of overtime that is actually used, which is more than what has been budgeted in previous budgets. An additional amount of $548,283 across public safety budgets has been included for overtime pay.

Comprehensive Plan Update – Glynn County is required to update its Comprehensive Plan by October 31, 2018. An RFP for a consultant has been sent out to prospective consulting firms to lead the process and to develop a new comprehensive plan. A total of $200,000 has been included in the proposed budget for this purpose.

 

Personnel

A total of 73 new positions were requested by county departments.  Of the number requested, 18 full-time positions and two part-time positions are being recommended.  In addition one temporary position to full-time and two part-time positions to full-time are being recommended. In many departments, the work load has continued to increase to pre-recession levels and additional staff is needed to provide services in an efficient manner. Of the 18 full-time positions that are requested, 15 are in the General Fund, two are in the Building Inspection Fund, and one is in the Solid Waste Fund. Six of the requested positions are new police officers. Of the six goals outlined in the Strategic Plan, public safety is the number one priority and the additional police officers will assist with the increased call volume, assist with traffic enforcement and help address the current gang issues.

 

Five of the twenty full-time positions that have been requested are for divisions within the Department of

Community Development. Growth in the Golden Isles has in some cases reached pre-recession levels, but the current staffing remains at the down sized level of the great recession. To serve the public in an efficient manner, additional staff are critically needed in Community Development. One of the requested positions is for an Administrative Assistant in Engineering. When County Engineering was split into two divisions during the recession the administrative staff followed the portion of Engineering that was assigned to Public Works. Administrative support staff is needed for the County Engineer and his team to be able to process work in an efficient manner. The administrative staff will also help ensure that SPLOST 2016 projects move forward in an expedient manner.

 

The media and the public are demanding information at a higher intensity than before. All of these outreach efforts and responses must be carefully crafted to ensure the public is receiving complete and accurate information in a timely manner. The position of Public Information Officer will help ensure that the public is kept informed, the County website is kept up to date and the progress of the Strategic Plan is communicated on a regular basis. In addition, the frequency of “Open Records Requests” (ORR) has increased and has created additional work for existing staff. It has created challenges to meet the ORR deadlines for existing staff and to also perform their regular duties. The Public Information Officer will be able to assist with ORR requests and free up existing staff to focus on their regular duties and responsibilities. This position will also free up the Management Analyst/Communications Officer to track the key performance indicators in the Strategic Plan and spend more time on research and special projects. Prior to the great recession, the then County Administrator (now County Manager) had two Assistant County Administrators. One of which was assigned to assist the County Administrator with research, special projects and the analysis of county operations. The addition of the Public Information Officer will allow the Management Analyst/Communications Officer to fill the void that the elimination of the Assistant County Administrator positions created.

 

The proposed budget also includes the full funding of three positions that were added during Fiscal Year 17: Planning Manager, Internal Auditor and the Contract Analyst. A complete listing of all requested positions can be found in Appendix B. Staff will be prepared to discuss the requested positions in more detail during your budget deliberations.

 

Health Care

Health care costs continue to have a major impact on the budget. Plan changes were made in FY17 to help curb the cost of benefits including an increase in employee out-of-pocket maximums and discontinuation of covering drugs that are available over-the-counter, and the initiation of step therapy for certain drugs. Also, employee spouses covered by the health plan were required to participate in the annual health risk assessment and biometric screening.  The total net cost of health care in FY18 is

$8,632,588, with an estimated $1,379,984 in employee contributions. The cost consists of health claims, prescription drugs, stop loss premium, administration fees, ACA taxes, broker fees, and the Employee Wellness Center including enhancing services by increasing the hours of operation from 24 to 40 and the addition of a Nurse Practitioner.

The projected cost for Workers’ Compensation Claims remains flat at $850,000.

 

Capital

In 2012, the Board of Commissioners approved 0.49 mil of tax for capital equipment and projects.  Each

fiscal year since then there have been more capital needs than available funding, and this year is no exception. In fact, the county has the need for several capital items and projects that exceed the available funding from the special millage. A more reasonable budget amount each year would be one mil assessed for capital equipment and projects. Due to the critical need for specific capital items, a transfer in the amount of $1,637,041 from the General Fund to the Capital projects Fund is being recommended. Attachment C provides a list of capital items included in the proposed budget. Outlined below is a list of capital projects included in the proposed budget that are outside the  normal replacement of vehicles and heavy equipment:

·         New financial software

·         Upgrade to software for Superior Court and State Court to improve efficiency

·         Electronic citation system for County Police

·         Move the Microsoft and Odyssey software platforms to the Cloud

·         Upgrade the technology at the Emergency Operations Center

·         Continuation of the computer hardware replacement and updates

·         Update the technology in the courtrooms

·         Wireless upgrade at Blythe Island Regional Park

·         New fire alarm toning system

·         Automatic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) devices for Emergency Medical Services

·         Upgrade sewer and electrical Service for 30 sites at Blythe Island Regional Park

·         Replacement sidewalks at courthouse complex

·         New roof and restroom partitions at the Courthouse

·         Additional guardrails for county roads

·         ADA improvements at Fire Stations #5 and #6

·         Installation of new generators at Fire Stations #1, #2, #3, # 6 and #7

·         Renovation of space on the second floor of the Pate Building to create a multipurpose room

·         Replace Demere Community Building with pavilion

·         Remodel Detective Unit at County Police Department

·         Office renovations for the Tax Commissioner

·         Drainage infrastructure

·         New rubber tire track hoe for drainage projects


 

 

Revenue

A summary of the General Fund revenue as compared to FY16 and FY17 is shown below:

 

The proposed budget projects the millage rate to increase by 2 mils in the General Fund for a total of 7.673 mils. The following chart depicts a twenty year history of the millage rate in Glynn County. Between 2009 and 2013 the assessed value in Glynn County dropped by $1.5 billion dollars. The practical application of this reduction was the reduced assessed value of individual homes and businesses in Glynn County. In accordance with the Scarlett-Williams legislation, when the value of an owner occupied house drops so do the property taxes. As long as the same owner lives in the house the taxes remain the same even though the value of the house may increase. In the 2016 tax year, 62.7% of all residential property owners paid less in county property taxes than they did in 2009, yet they receive the same or greater services from Glynn County. With the additional millage, the tax rate for county government will still be less than any other county in South East Georgia and will remain one of the lowest tax rates in Georgia. The tax rate for Glynn County was 8.4 in 1992 and was lowered to the current rate of 5.673 in 2009 and has remained at that rate since then.

Annual Impact of 2 mils of tax on three different home valuations is as follows:

$100,000 = $80 or $6.67 per month

$200,000 = $200 or $16.67 per month

$500,000 = $400 or $33.33 per month

 

The Budget Team consists of Tonya Miller, Director of Administrative Services and CFO; Vickie McClinton, Finance Manager; Telisha Mack, Budget Analyst; Kathryn Downs, Management Analyst and Communications Officer; Dave Austin Director of Public Works; and Alan Ours, County Manager.

 

County Manager Alan Ours reported millage increase that was proposed was partly due to the Scarlett-Williams Act. The Act allows homeowners living fulltime in their homes to have their home values frozen unless there was a millage increase.

 

For a house that was valued at $100,000 three years ago and now valued at $120,000, the house is still taxed at $100,000. The recession caused a loss of approximately $3 million in home market value and $1.5 billion in assessed value. The County’s general fund revenue during the first two years of the recession decreased $2 million. In 2016, 63% of all residential property owners paid less in taxes than they did in 2009. Even with the proposed millage increase, 42% of property owners will still be paying less tax than they did in 2009. The County’s provision of services has not decreased during this time.

 

The Board discussed the proposed 10% salary increase for public safety officers and how the State of Georgia’s proposed 20% salary increase will affect the County’s retention rates. The County is already losing public safety officers to neighboring counties and the private sector.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION/POST EXECUTIVE SESSION ACTION

 

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

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Bill Brunson, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County, Georgia

Attest:

 

_____________________________

Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk