MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

BUDGET WORK SESSION

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

W. HAROLD PATE BUILDING

1725 REYNOLDS STREET, 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM 224

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2018 AT 1:30 PM

 

PRESENT:                             Bill Brunson, Chairman, District 4

Michael Browning, Vice Chairman, District 1

Dr. 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

 

ABSENT:                               Dhwani Patel, County Clerk

 

Discussion and consideration of voting on the following:

 

1.            Citizens Survey Results (Mary Eleanor Wickersham)

 

                                Mary Eleanor Wickersham, with Wickersham Consulting, LLC, presented the results of the Citizens Survey which gathered data from January 18, 2018, through March 5, 2018. The survey was disseminated online and through paper copies, and was also available in Spanish. Over 3000 people started the survey and approximately 1250 responded to most of the questions. The survey report is broken down into three primary sections: aggregated data in the form of charts and tables, open ended response sorted by category, and data by district. The data collection sections focused on demographics, public service delivery and performance by department, communications and customer service, quality of life, built environment and maintenance, civic involvement and citizen engagement, and outreach and communication.  Ms. Wickersham stated that the survey included a representative sample in terms of age, race/ethnicity, and family income. She briefly outlined a few of the interesting findings of the survey and encouraged the commissioners to reach out to her if they had any questions.

 

2.            Update on SPLOST 2016 Projects

 

                                County Manager Alan Ours presented and explained the breakdown of SPLOST 2016 collections and distributions to the City of Brunswick, the Joint Water and Sewer Commission (JWSC), Jekyll Island Authority (JIA), and Glynn County. Public Works Director Dave Austin and County Engineer Paul Andrews presented the Action Matrix that outlines all the projects and provides detailed information on each of the SPLOST 2016 projects.

Police Chief John Powell presented the proposal for the new animal control facility. Based on the site surveys, the new recommendations would increase the facility to be approximately 15,000 square feet, almost 4,000 square feet larger than the original proposal. The additional square footage, the separation of the laundry rooms, separated exam rooms, and the layout of the kennels in the back have increased the projected costs of the facility to between 2.2 and 2.5 million dollars from the initial 1.5 million dollars estimate. He explained that an alternative option was to delete one of the kennel runs which would reduce the proposed cost by approximately $500,000. The Commissioners spoke about pushing adoption of the animals and deter storing them at the facility. They stated that they would like to remain closer to the original proposed number and add on options to expand the facility in the future. They also asked Chief Powell to reach out to Rick DuCharme to find out his level of interest in the project.

 

3.            The FY 19 proposed budget

 

County Manager Alan Ours presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget. He stated that this year the budget proposal aligns with the six overarching goals of the County’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.

 

Overview:

The overall County budget includes a total of seven different categories of funds. While the largest of these categories is the General Fund, the other funds should not be overlooked and make up the total budget for Glynn County. The same effort is applied to manage each fund of the County. The following page provides a comparison between the FY18 and FY19 values and the percentage of change for each individual fund. The General Fund, which comprises 52% of the overall County budget, can be broken down into nine main categories. Public Safety remains the largest area, followed by Public Works, General Government, Judiciary, Culture and Recreation, Building and Community Development, Debt Service, Transfers out for Capital, and Health and Welfare.

 

Fund

FY18 Approved

FY19 Recommended

% Change

Total % of Budget

 

General Fund

$70,182,395

$73,135,697

4.2%

52%

Special Revenue Funds

$29,553,221

$29,159,874

-1.3%

22%

Internal Service Funds

$17,277,981

$18,971,696

9.8%

13%

Capital Projects Fund

$7,377,654

$7,259,852

-1.6%

5%

Pension Trust Fund

$5,189,942

$5,815,939

12.1%

4%

Enterprise Funds

$3,893,389

$3,982,188

2.3%

3%

Debt Services Funds

$872,823

$3,523,403

303.7%*

1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Financial practices for calculating this value have changed

 

Revenues:

Revenue growth continues at a modest pace. Overall revenue projections are 4.21% higher than last year with the most significant increases in revenues coming from Title Ad Valorem taxes and Other Financing Sources. Assuming a 97% collection rate, growth in the tax digest is expected to continue at a modest rate. Although these overall figures are trending in a positive direction, it is important to keep an eye out for a possible future economic downturn. Economists are warning that the U.S. economy is very late in the economic and financial market cycle. The overvalued market is likely headed for some level of correction. Current trends we are seeing in the market such as the tightening of the job market, slowing Gross Domestic Product, possible trade wars, and inflation could all potentially trigger a bear market shift.

 

Description

FY18 Approved

FY19 Recommend

% Change

Total % of Revenue

All Taxes

$55,569,699

$57,080,782

2.7%

78%

Charges for Services

$5,939,744

$6,219,453

4.7%

9%

Other Sources

$4,395,138

$5,547,767

26.2%

7%

Intergovernmental Revenue

$1,288,602

$1,151,079

-10.7%

2%

Fines and Forfeitures

$1,671,000

$1,717,900

2.8%

2%

Licensees and Permits

$1,203,048

$1,137,800

-5.4%

2%

Investment Income

$115,164

$280,916

143.9%

.38%

 

Major Expenses

Personnel 55% - Personnel is one of the largest expenses in the budget. Glynn County has an exceptional work force that works diligently to deliver quality services to our citizens. Fifty-three percent of our budget goes towards personnel expenses with benefits.

 

County Operations 40% - County operations make up 40% of the budget. Operational expenses provide employees with the necessary tools to perform their respective jobs and pay for things such as facilities maintenance and utilities.

 

Capital 7% - Capital expenditures make up 7% of the budget. Capital assets are defined by the County as assets with an initial, individual cost of $5,000 or more, and an estimated useful life in excess of one year. Capital expenditures fall under several funds: Capital Projects Fund, Accommodations Excise Tax, Emergency 911 System Fund, Fire Protection Fund, and Police Seizure Funds.

 

Strategic Plan

 

Safe Community

It is our top priority and mandate to ensure that Glynn County’s citizens, businesses, homes, and environment are routinely safe from crime, fire, and natural and manmade disasters and, in the case of emergencies, that the county provides rapid response and recovery.

 

       Camera Security will be utilized to increase the security of the interior and exterior of the Courthouse Building ($50,000)

       Anywhere Warrant Software for will allow judges to issue warrants remotely ($53,000)

       Two cardiac monitor/defibrillators ($72,000)

       Lucas CPR device ($20,000)

       Paramedic chase vehicle ($50,000)

       Migration of Spillman server to Linux platform ($200,000). This system handles the 911 Emergency Call Dispatch and the Police Record Management systems.

       Licensing and upgrade to the Quality Recording/Eventide Recording ($12,240) is required to update the 911 call recording system to be compatible with systems throughout the state.

       911 Quad Stands ($36,000). This four monitor stand will allow call takers to access all pertinent information to more efficiently dispatch the appropriate emergency response.

       Replacing existing work stations at E-911 ($25,377)

       County Police additional 10 eCitation licenses and equipment ($20,000)

       County Police software to keep up with policies, training, etc. ($10,220)

       County Police Evident.com backup body camera data ($60,000)

       Emergency Operations Center (EOC) technology upgrade, Phase 2 ($100,000)

 

Public Safety remains a top priority of this budget. The only non-replacement vehicle purchase being recommended in this budget is the Paramedic chase vehicle. This vehicle will provide easy deployment of a rapid medical response and lessen the wear and tear on our traditional Emergency Medical Squads, thus extending the useful life of the ambulances.

 

One new ambulance purchase ($255,000) is recommended for this budget as a replacement vehicle. Scheduled public safety replacement vehicles include 15 vehicles and an ATV for the Police Department ($522,709) along with 11 vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office ($345,471).

 

Both the Fire and Police departments are nearly fully staffed, and turnover rates seem to be at an all time low. Current vacancies in our Fire Department are largely from the grant funded positions provided by the SAFER grant; however, those positions are steadily being filled.

 

A significant amount is being spent on technology for the 911 Center. These important upgrades will ensure that our systems are meeting the technological standards of today. Items such as the new quad stands (a computer monitor stand that holds four monitors) will allow 911 call takers to view multiple sources of information at once and provide more complete information to dispatchers. This information will allow for a much more streamlined and efficient dispatch process and provide a more rapid response for our citizens.

 

Financially Responsible Government

We promote efficient, effective expenditure of public funds while ensuring that the necessary resources are available to support economic and quality of life demands across the whole of a dynamic, diverse and growing coastal community

 

       Munis Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system by Tyler ($1,649,647 lease purchase total; FY19 debt service of $201,367) will replace the 20 year old GEMS system. The Munis ERP System will integrate financial modules, payroll system, human resource management, purchasing management, and fleet modules.

 

This proposed budget is an instrument that reaffirms Glynn County’s commitment to the strategic objective of being a financially responsible government. The budget proposal provides a balanced budget without the use of fund balance, thus protecting the fund balance for emergency needs. We have hired an Internal Auditor and Contracts Analyst to help us evaluate county operations and ensure maximum value for all outsourced services and resources. The true value of those positions will be demonstrated in the upcoming fiscal year. In addition, the County continues to be extremely successful in obtaining public and private grant funds to support County programs and services. In FY18, we secured nearly $2.5 million in grant funding, and we anticipate that success will continue into FY19.

 

A significant portion of the capital expenditures in this year’s budget proposal are Information Technology (IT) related. Use of IT in management and operations has become increasingly important for all county functions. As we have seen with recent security breaches into the network infrastructure of local governments such as the cities of Savannah and Atlanta, IT security is of the utmost importance. The IT capital budget does not have a request specifically for security, but approximately 25% of the IT hardware spending can be attributed to increasing the security of our systems to help prevent malware or ransomware from entering our network. There is an element of security in every software system. Security, business continuity, and disaster recovery are components of all County applications and are taken into consideration when selecting new software. Although IT security can come at a high cost, it is fiscally responsible and protects our assets. Conversely, not adequately protecting our assets can be extremely costly if there is a security breach.

 

Exceptional Customer Service

As public servants and stewards of the public trust, it is our obligation to employ and retain exceptional staff who are proficient in their tasks and duties and who are appropriately compensated and commended for their competency and dedication. The expectation for exceptional customer service, combined with adequate training, support, and commendation, extends to those dedicated citizens whom we appoint to the more than 100 voluntary positions on boards, commissions, authorities, and advisory councils.

 

       Community Connect site license will allow the community to view police reports online and provide criminal mapping. In addition, it will allow the public to easily submit tips on criminal activity. ($26,500)

       Online ordinance hosting provided by Municode will easily allow the public to search our ordinances. ($15,000)

       Agenda and meeting software will assist the daily duties of the County Clerk’s office and make meeting agendas more user friendly for the public. ($13,000)

 

Advances in technology continue to allow for new ways to provide convenience, efficiency, and transparency to customers. Citizens have come to expect a comparable level of technological convenience from all sectors, including the public sector. In order to meet these expectations, Glynn County continues to improve citizen satisfaction through the use of innovative technology.

Many of the capital items that will assist our employees in providing exceptional customer service are in the form of new software. Each of the items requested will allow Glynn County to assist our citizens in a more efficient manner and in some cases provide expanded services. Access to data will be greatly improved by these capital items, thus continuing the trend of increasing government transparency.

 

Planned and Managed Growth

The unique beauty, environment, and employment characteristics of Glynn County require that growth and economic development be both promoted and properly managed. The diversity of needs and the significant long range opportunities mandate an immediate and aggressive effort to engage the whole of Glynn County in planning and developing a future state that is both sustainable and economically viable. Through planning, Glynn County seeks to preserve the unique characteristics of the coast; to protect existing families, businesses, and industries; and to prepare for the economy of tomorrow in a manner which positively benefits all sectors of the community.

 

       Zoning ordinance review to update County ordinances and reflect the vision of the Comprehensive Plan ($200,000)

 

In the previous fiscal year, the Glynn County Board of Commissioners engaged a planning firm to complete the state mandated Comprehensive Plan. This planning process has allowed for an increased amount of public participation in the planning process. In this upcoming year, we will review and revise the County ordinances to ensure that they are tools to achieve the county vision outlined in the comprehensive plan. As such, we have included $200,000 for a complete review of our zoning ordinances so that we can ensure we are planning for the future.

 

Nearly all vacant positions in the Planning Division have been filled. We have employed a Planning Manager and Planner III in the previous fiscal year. In order to provide a more specialized approach to transportation planning, we have engaged a planning firm that specializes in transportation planning to provide staffing for the Brunswick Area Transportation Study (BATS) Committee in lieu of a staff planner. With the focused expertise of the transportation consultants, Glynn County will be better able to leverage federal and state funds available for transportation related studies.

 

One-hundred thousand dollars has also been included in the Public Works budget to provide nuisance property abatement to continue our program of addressing abandoned and blighted properties.

 

Great Place to Live

We recognize the important constitutional and statutory roles which the county government has in promoting and managing services and programming. The availability, integration, and quality of these local services often emerge as defining factors in making communities great places to live. Many private and public partners in arts, culture, education, conservation, recreation, and community development contribute to make these collective efforts successful. To ensure that Glynn County remains a great place to live, the County embraces and wishes to expand upon these partnerships.

 

       Bollard lights along the sidewalk in Neptune Park are in need of replacement ($30,000 – funded by the Accommodations Excise Tax)

       Cleaning, inspection, and repairs of the storm sewer system in order to keep the system functioning properly ($80,000)

       Drainage and intersection improvements have been included in the budget for Demere Road at The Reserve ($150,000)

       Improvements for the Post Road culvert ($150,000)

       Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) and County match to fund bridge repairs and maintenance ($325,000)

       Structural repairs at the St. Simons Marina ($485,000 total cost; FY19 debt service of $43,014)

       Frederica Road realignment at Christ Church ($50,000)

       Intersection improvements at US Highway 17 and Southport Parkway ($300,000)

       Striping various roads in Glynn County ($75,000)

       Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance design services ($60,000)

       Paulk Park renovation, Phase 2 ($238,500)

       Marshes of Glynn Library renovation ($1,500,000 total cost; FY19 debt service of $183,100)

       PCMT 8000 conflict monitor (traffic signal) tester to help identify issues with traffic systems ($10,000)

 

Valued Employees

As a large, complex and evolving public organization, we entrust fully and rely completely upon the nearly 1,000 full-time, part time and seasonal employees who carry out the Board of Commissioner’s policies and extend services to our constituents and our guests. We believe in trust, respect, innovation, and camaraderie between Commissioners, staff and the citizenry. It is our job to empower our County Manager and his team to hire, compensate and retain the best staff at every level.

 

       Move Odyssey to the cloud platform ($269,000). This system supports the judicial and jail systems.

       Capital hardware equipment replacing end of life IT hardware ($360,000)

       Backup of data for Microsoft 365 ($30,000) is necessary to provide local redundancy for data stored in the cloud based system.

       Upgrade obsolete thermostat software at W. Harold Pate Building ($35,200)

       Replace chillers at the Historic Courthouse Building ($110,000)

       Replace the roof on the Ballard Recreation Maintenance Building ($11,770)

       Replace flooring at Ballard Recreation Office ($15,200)

       3 vehicles that meet scheduled replacement requirements ($75,890)

 

Public safety is our number one goal, but employees are our number one asset. Glynn County currently has a total of 927 full-time and part-time employees. One of the main ways we can demonstrate that we value our employees is by providing them with the equipment they need to perform their jobs in an efficient manner. The capital request included under the Valued Employees goal will provide our employees with the technology that will support their job functions and provide necessary back up to meet the demand of today’s information technology driven work place.

Providing employees with access to quality health care is a benefit to both the employee and the employer. Health care costs continue to have a significant impact on the budget. The overall health benefit budget has increased by 11% from FY18. However, year over year growth in medical and prescription cost, administrative expenses, and the employee wellness center is less than the 14% growth experienced from FY17 to FY18. The projected costs for Workers’ Compensation Claims has increased from $850,000 to $900,000 in this budget proposal.

In order to ensure that County employees’ compensation keeps up with the economy, the FY19 budget proposal includes a 2.1% cost of living (COLA) increase. Likewise, in order to encourage and reward employee performance, merit raises of up to 2% are proposed. The recommended budget also includes the continuation of Career Track, which sets milestones for employee advancement.

Also included in this budget proposal is an additional holiday for the day of Christmas Eve. Traditionally, only Christmas Day has been included on the County calendar as a holiday, but because Christmas Eve falls on a Monday in 2018, it has been recommended that Monday (Christmas Eve) and Tuesday (Christmas Day) be budgeted holidays.

Personnel changes are very limited in this recommended budget. There are 17 positions that have been recommended for reclassification, but no new positions are being recommended. Job duties and resources previously dedicated to the Community Services Director have been split between the County Manager and newly created Assistant County Manager position. The Fire and Emergency Management/Homeland Security Agency will report to the County Manager. Recreation and Animal Control will fall under the purview of the Assistant County Manager.

Mr. Ours highlighted that the budget follows the Glynn County Strategic Plan, continues the current services levels, does not increase the millage rate, balances without use of fund balance, and continues to invest in employees.

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 at 3:55 PM.

 

 

                                                                                                                ____________________________

Bill Brunson, Chairman

                                                                                                                Board of Commissioners

                                                                                                                Glynn County, Georgia

Attest:

 

_____________________________

Dhwani Patel, Clerk