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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting
November 28, 2018 12:00 p.m.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Cindy Morrison and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.
Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk; Eric Hern, Fiscal Director, Phil Gilbert, Tax Claim Director, and Lorri Dunlap
Citizens Present: Josh Cotton (WTO), and Joe Scully
Public Hearing: Proposal of CDBG Program Budget Modifications
Lorri Dunlap explained to the public that with various projects the costs may come in lower than expected, so we have to move some funds around so that the oldest funds get spent first.
There was one project that was canceled, therefore we have to reallocate $186,109.00 of the 2016 funds to different projects and I am proposing that we move $175,640.00 to the Bear Lake Borough Center Street Storm Water Project and move $10,469.00 for the removal of blight.
Lorri Dunlap then stated that there is a demolition project that may come from Youngsville Borough.
Joe Scully asked Ms. Dunlap if there was any way possible to allocate more funds for the removal of blight to which Ms. Dunlap state “no”, we can only use 30% of the CDBG funds for the removal and acquisition of blight.
After nothing further, motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously.
Joe Scully stated that he had a question regarding the article in the paper this morning, and could someone explain what 1/3 is and why a straight percentage was not used.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin explained about the salary survey that was done, and how the 1/3 was derived. He went on to state that ideally this should be done for the next three years to bring the nonunion employees up to the mid level amount, but this is not binding.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that there are a handful that are getting the 1/3 figure, most everyone is getting 2%.
Joe Scully stated that when his municipality gives raises, it is what we think the employee is worth, not based on what other municipalities are paying. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that if we did that we would be all over the place. This gives some justification as to why some are getting a higher percentage than others.
Joe Scully then stated that he feels that the Chief Clerk should be appointed for either a two year term, or for the term of the board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin explained that per the county code, the Chief Clerk and the Solicitor have to be appointed each year. I wish we could do it the way you suggested.
Agenda Content: nothing to add
Minutes from the November 14, 2018 Meeting: There were no changes to be made to the minutes.
Fiscal Report: Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated there was cash on hand of $3,207,059.00 and in the Erie bank account a balance of $197,380.00. The total payouts are approximately $55,000.00.
Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve today’s agenda, the November 14, 2018 minutes, and the fiscal report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution #3117 and #3118 for CDBG Program Budget Modifications: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that Ms. Dunlap explained the reasons for the budget modifications during the public hearing.
Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve Resolutions 3117 and 3118 for the CDBG budget modifications for FY 2015 and 2016. Motion carried unanimously.
Calling in the Bond: Eric Hern, Fiscal Director explained that the payment was transferred to the Debt fund as normal, giving a balance high enough to pay off the bond.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that while working on the budget, I noticed that the debt fund had a high balance, and after finding the amount of our bond debt, I suggested to our Fiscal Director that we should pay off the debt bond. I am very pleased that this board is willing to call in the bond.
Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to call in the debt bond before year end. Motion carried unanimously.
Agreement with Commonwealth for GIS Data: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that this agreement was discussed at the Work Session, and basically this is an agreement with the County and the Commonwealth for us to share our GIS Data. There is a clause that states if our data is incorrect, they will not hold the county liable. This can also be terminated at any time by either party.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to approve the agreement with the Commonwealth to share GIS data.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, you attended an educational session at CCAP, how many other counties have agreed to this. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that approximately one third to one half of the counties across the state have agreed.
Joe Scully stated that the rural counties are more willing to participate than the larger counties.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he is for this, as if there is a national disaster, the GIS data will be very helpful.
After nothing further the above question was called and motion carried unanimously.
2019 Budget: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that in previous years there were no public meetings when it came time to discuss the budget, this is the first year we are letting the sunshine in and having public meetings. We wanted to do this today, but we are not ready to discuss the budget as prepared by fiscal. There will be a special meeting on December 5, 2018 at 2:00 in the Commissioners Conference Room to finalize the budget and put it out for the public review period either that afternoon, or the morning of December 6.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he does have one thing he would like to add and that is an entrepreneurial training line item that allows the education of 12 to 13 employees at a cost of $3,500 each.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that in reviewing the current proposed budget line by line I have several questions, to which Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin asked her to meet with Eric Hern, Fiscal Director.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison then asked if she could bring up her proposal items:
- I propose a reduction in taxes by 1 mil since we are paying off the bond debt.
- Take the bond debt payment and put it into contingencies.
- Advocate to give an additional $6,750 to the Cooperative Extension so they can hire a master gardener
- Cancel the agreement with Long & Nyquist, the lobbyists
- Cut the funding to WCCBI
- Do level funding to all outside agencies – no increases
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that there is no margin in the budget for cuts.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that the dedicated bond debt monies can be transferred to the general fund allowing for the tax break.
Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that the budget is a break even budget using the current tax millage figure.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that while this is a good idea, you have to be practical; you would have to then find $400,000 in cuts to the budget.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that right off the bat you would be saving 100,000 if you cut WCCBI and Long & Nyquist.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston went on to state that each one of the commissioners has an interest in the budget, and that is why we each need to give our proposals to each other and to Eric Hern, Fiscal Director to review.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that it is not fair to ask Eric Hern, Fiscal Director to redo an entire budget at this late time.
Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that the budget is balanced using the current millage rate. Most of the budget is already set by union contracts, salary board etc. it is the external entities that maybe reduced, but there have already been many commitments made for next year such as Motorola etc.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison state that I have not seen anyone else’s proposals until last evening and I just stumbled upon the bond debt.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he has no problem with a Commissioner proposing a tax cut, but to do this without concrete numbers is not fair. Please go through the budget line by line, and give us solid numbers to look at with the cuts you want to make.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she believes this can be done with excess funds in the budget. I have worked tirelessly on this budget and I will continue to do so to pass on a tax cut to our citizens.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin then asked Commissioner Cindy Morrison to submit proposals using the current millage and her reduced millage.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that any proposals should be sent to Eric Hern, Fiscal Director and all commissioners for review so we can discuss this intelligently at the December 5th meeting.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston went on to thank Eric Hern, Fiscal Director for his work on this budget, and I feel that this will be the most realistic and reliable budget that the county has seen in years.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin asked Commissioner Cindy Morrison to work with Eric Hern, Fiscal Director to come up with a budget with her proposed changes, and Eric can you keep a detailed list of the changes, you will be the point of contact for each of us.
Joe Scully asked for an explanation from Commissioner Cindy Morrison on why she wants to reduce the CDBG funds by $40,000. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that it was WCCBI, not CCDG. Joe said he takes back his question.
Personnel Transaction Report
November 28, 2018
New Hires for Warren County
Changes for Warren County Employees
Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the personnel report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
Adjournment: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting adjourned 12:55 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved:
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston, Secretary
Chief Clerk Warren County Commissioner