STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                   )                    OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

                                                                        )                    STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COUNTY OF STOKES                                  )                    DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

                                                                        )                    JUNE 19, 2006

 

 

The Board of Commissioners of the County of Stokes, State of North Carolina, met for a Budget Work Session to discuss the proposed 2006-07 fiscal year county budget in the Commissioners’ Chambers of the Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Building (Administrative Building) located in Danbury, North Carolina on Monday, June 19, 2006 at 4:00 pm with the following members present:

 

 

                                                Chairman Leon Inman

                                                                Vice-Chairman Joe Turpin

Commissioner John Turpin

                                                                Commissioner Jimmy Walker

 

                                                                Commissioner McHugh (absent)

 

                                                                County Personnel in Attendance:

                                                                Clerk to the Board/Interim County Manager Darlene Bullins

                                                                Budget Director Dennis Thompson

                                                                Finance Director Julia Edwards

 

Stokes County Board of Education/Administration:

                                                                Chairman Terri Fowler

                                                                Vice Chairman Sonya Cox

                                                                 Member Ernest Lankford

                                                                 Member Steve Shelton

                                                       Member Ty Boles

                                                                 Superintendent Dr. Larry Cartner

                                                       Assistant Superintendent Debbie Merritt

                                                              Finance Officer Lanette Moore

                                                                School Attorney Fredrick Johnson

 

Chairman Leon Inman called the Budget Work Session to discuss the submitted proposed Stokes County Fiscal Year 2006-07 Budget to order.

 

Commissioner Walker delivered the invocation.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

Chairman Inman opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to join the Board with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Budget Work Session

 

Chairman Inman welcomed The Board of Education and School Administration to the budget work session.

 

Stokes County Schools

 

Dr. Larry Cartner spoke on the following issues relating to the proposed school budget for current expense and capital outlay:

 

·         Expressed appreciation for the support given in the past

·         Zero Growth Budget does not account for any inflation

·         Zero Growth Budget will impact the students in Stokes County

·         46% will happen in this year’s budget no matter what the funding is

·         Approximately $340,000 will have to be found no matter what funding is received by the County

·         Recent projected increase for teachers from DPI from 5% to 8%

·         Recent projected increase for non-teachers from DPI from 3% to 5%

·         All the above factors will create a $700,000 reduction in this year’s budget

·         A need of $360,000 to $400,000 or existing programs will have to be cut

·         Possible cuts-

o        Reducing middle school SROfficers

o        Nursing position

o        Elimination of library book allotment = $75,000

o        Each school receives currently $7,000 base for supplies –that would be reduced to $5,000 base

o        Large reduction in capital equipment

o        Reduction in contractual services for new position that was also eliminated in the proposed budget

o        Possibly all funding for grounds

o        Funding for all exterior projects

o        Boilers for North and South High Schools

·         Supplements for teachers = $220,000

·         Current school needs

·         State requirements = $340,000

·         Next best funding = state requirements, employees supplements, teachers’ assistants for years of service pay and ABC incentives for non teacher employees

·         Lottery expectations and disbursements to counties

·         Schools will have to use fund raising monies to help pay for items not being funded

·         Current SRO positions – request the need for those to be in the Sheriff’s Department budget

 

Dr. Cartner requested on behalf of the Board of Education to change the revenue stream by using the revenues for capital outlay projects ($300,000) out of current expense fund balance and the use ADM funding for technology.

 

Dr. Cartner concluded by requesting the additional funding for the children of Stokes County and reiterated that “Education is one of those things that once you get behind, you never catch up”.

 

Vice Chairman Joe Turpin noted the following:

 

Commissioner Walker noted the following:

 

Chairman Inman noted the following:

 

Budget Director Dennis Thompson explained the scenario of how the $150,000 from general fund transfer could be compounded by using ADM funding which included how the capital outlay could be spent to be able to include the boilers, roofs, and most of the red-letter items in the proposed budget.  Mr. Thompson also noted the two top items from

the recent 2006 Budget Retreat: (1) Do not exceed the current $.60 tax rate, (2) Do anything possible to improve the fund balance to get Stokes County in a position to build schools.  If the County funded the complete request from the Schools, there would have to have been a 2.5-cent tax increase to cover current expense and a 3-cent tax increase to cover capital

outlay (5.5-cent total tax increase) in the proposed budget.

 

Mr. Thompson spoke briefly on the estimated revenues and current tax valuation shortfall.

 

The Board of Education presented the following comments:

 

Member Ty Boles

 

Member Steve Shelton

 

Vice Chairman Sonya Cox

 

Member Ernest Lankford

Chairman Terri Fowler

 

Chairman Inman expressed the tough position currently facing the Board of Commissioners with the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

 

Chairman Inman reiterated the need of classroom space and the need to keep the communications open

between the both Boards – to focus on the major objective – the best education possible for the Stokes County students.

 

Following the joint meeting with the Board of Education, the Board of Commissioners continued the budget work session.

 

The Board continued discussion focusing on the request from the Board of Education regarding current expense and capital outlay with the extra funding if appropriated coming from either the contingency accounts or the County’s fund balance. 

 

The Board discussed the request from Dr. Cartner to change the revenue stream.

 

Budget Director Dennis Thompson suggested that the Board should vote on the request from Dr. Cartner to change the revenue stream in order to have documentation in the minutes.

 

Chairman Inman opened the floor for discussion regarding the mental health proposed budget.

 

The Board discussed the following regarding the proposed mental health budget:

 

                (Chairman Inman provided Board members with information from Daymarkregarding projected services in Stokes County)

 

·         Proposed budget remains the same as 05-06 budget –

allocation = $395,820 county funding

·         CenterPoint current LME

·         Possible significant changes in services days in Stokes County

·         Outpatient services – Daymark/Triumph

·         Stokes Opportunity Center – ARC Services

·         Need for mental health services in Stokes County

·         Telemedicine Services could be available in Danbury through Daymark if free space is available

·         Currents service days in Stokes County

·         Discussion of what services that current proposed funding could provide

·         Reduction in state allocation for mental health services

·         Suicide rate in Stokes County

·         Changing LMEs in the future

·         Mental Health Reform

·         Allocation of funding for services needed in Stokes County

·         New ruling effective July 1, 2006 that will allow any provider to practice

in Stokes County which could effect services in Stokes County

 

Dr. Bill Foxx, Psychiatrist, currently works within Stokes County, spoke briefly regarding the following issues relating to mental health in Stokes County:

 

·         Telemedicine in Stokes County –advantages/disadvantages

·         Highland Avenue is constantly overcrowded

·         Current mental health issues in Stokes County

·         Expressed concerns regarding mental health issues in Stokes County

·         1,157 individual patients have been seen in the last 9 months in Stokes County by Daymark

·         Services are needed for other mental health issues such as alcoholism,

drug abuse, and late life depression possibly caused by mini strokes

·         Mental health issues in the schools

 

Ms. Debbie Morton, Program Director-Stokes Reynolds Hospital expressed concerns regarding the need for mental health issues in Stokes County, need for transportation to get clients to and from appointments, and pointed out that if mental health issues are not recognized and treated, eventually they will be seen either in our jail or hospitals.

 

Budget Director Dennis Thompson presented following statistical information regarding the amounts paid per capita by surrounding counties and Stokes County:

 

·         Stokes County – approximately $8.00 per capita

·         Surry County, Yadkin and Iredell Counties  -  approximately a little over $3.00 per capita

 

Chairman Inman informed the Board that CEO Betty Taylor- CenterPoint would be at the Wednesday, June 19th meeting to further discuss the reduction in services for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

Interim County Manager Darlene Bullins presented Board members with a copy of the current CenterPoint Performance Agreement – F/Y 2005-06 as requested.

 

Commissioner Walker requested Budget Director Dennis Thompson and Interim County Manager Darlene Bullins to possibly investigate what options the County currently has regarding mental health issues, if possible to be its own LME, transferring to another LME, any duplicated services, the amount of county funding that is allocated directly to

CenterPoint, and the wide range of per capita between different counties (estimated Surry $3.00 – Stokes $8.00).

 

The Board continued discussion regarding the following proposed budgets:

 

·         Parks

·         Recreation – YMCA services provided in the current budget along with the proposed budget

·         GIS/Mapping – permanent part time to permanent full time position

·         GIS/Mapping – printing of atlas in-house or outside vendor

·         Revisited contingency accounts and fund balance

·         King Clinic – projected expenditures and revenues

·         Economic Development

 

 

Commissioner John Turpin requested that the Interim County Manager research the possibility of examining Duke Power invoices (for the items used for the recent scrubber project) for possible sales tax being refunded to the county of sell instead of the county of delivery for possible errors.

 

Budget Director Thompson noted that lapsed salaries should be put back into fund balance at the end of each quarter.  This would build up the fund balance and not give departments an opportunity to request to spend the unused funding.  Budget Director Thompson also suggested to hold off allocating any contingency funding until after a thorough review of the first quarter revenues.

 

Interim County Manager Darlene Bullins presented the Board as requested a listing of Community Centers in Stokes County.  Interim Manager Bullins noted that there are other Community Centers operated by communities, organizations, or churches not included on  the list. 

 

Vice Chairman Joe Turpin noted the need to help community centers and parks within the County. 

 

Vice Chairman Joe Turpin also noted the need for a program to ensure that funding is available for this type of project. 

 

Interim Manager Bullins explained the previous Grant Program in which organizations would contribute a 50% match. 

 

The program has not been funded since 2000.

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards presented a separate budget prepared by Health Director Don Moore for the Health Department, Home Health, and Environmental Health without the King Clinic as requested by Commissioner McHugh.

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards presented a revised Revenue Summary and corrected Social Services – Administration Services for the proposed county budget, which results in less county funding for Social Services and less appropriation of Hold Harmless funding.

 

Social Services will be receiving more state funding, which reduces county funding.

 

Commissioner John Turpin moved to accept the revised Revenue Summary and the corrected Social Services – Administration Services for replacement in the proposed fiscal year 06-07 budget. 

 

Vice Chairman Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried (4-0) with Commissioner McHugh absent.

 

The Board discussed the current fund balance and the projected fund balance for fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

 

There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Inman entertained a motion to adjourn the budget work session. 

 

Vice Chairman Joe Turpin moved to adjourn the budget work session. 

 

Commissioner John Turpin seconded and the motion carried (4-0) with Commissioner McHugh absent.

 

 

_________________________                                  _____________________________

Darlene M. Bullins                                                     J. Leon Inman

Clerk to the Board                                                     Chairman