STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA )                    OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

                                                            )                    STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COUNTY OF STOKES                   )                    DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

                                                            )                    FEBRUARY 4, 2010

 

           

            The Board of Commissioners of the County of Stokes, State of North Carolina, met

 

for Budget Work Session in the third floor conference room of the Ronald Wilson Reagan

 

Memorial Building (Administration Building) located in Danbury, North Carolina on Thursday

 

February 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm with the following members present:

                                                                       

Chairman Jimmy Walker

Vice Chairman Ernest Lankford

Commissioner J. Leon Inman                        

Commissioner Ron Carroll

                                                Commissioner Stanley Smith

                                                                                                                       

                                                County Personnel in Attendance:

                                                County Manager K. Bryan Steen

                                                Clerk to the Board Darlene Bullins

                                                Finance Director Julia Edwards

                                                Tax Administrator Jake Oakley

                                                                       

Chairman Jimmy Walker called the meeting to order.

 

Commissioner Inman delivered the invocation.

                       

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

            Chairman Walker opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to join the

 

Board with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

 

Presentation of Report from Risk Management Services

 

            Commissioner Inman presented a report from NCACC-Risk Management received

 

at the Board of Directors’ meeting on 02-03-10 in Raleigh.

 

            Commissioner Inman noted the following highlights:

 

·         Workers’ Compensation Pool has current revenue exceeding expenses

by $1,932,081 – Cash flow remains positive meaning that the Workers’

Compensation cash collections from members are exceeding required

payments by a significant margin

·         Group benefits financial results through November 30, 2009 indicate a

through November of $1,322,196 – cash flow remains positive at $1.2

million

·         Liability and Property financial results for 2009-10 through November 30th         shows an excess of revenues over expenses of $3,724,068 – cash flow is positive

·         2010 District Meeting will be in Forsyth County at Tanglewood Country Club – there will no registration fee

·         General Fund Revenue Report & Economic Outlook

o   Sales tax collections remain well below expectations and withholding  income tax continues to weaken

o   Recent national and state forecasts indicate the recovery may take longer to unwind before it gains solid footing

o   Budget pressures will continue to mount as the prolonged weaknesses in the economy  affect revenue collections the second-half of the fiscal year

·         Budget outlook – mounting pressures for remainder of fiscal year 2009-10 and beyond:

o   No improvement in sales tax collection

o   Expenditures for Medicaid and other income assistance programs              may exceed budget amounts

o   Enrollment from people seeking to improve their job skills has               placed added pressure on post-secondary education, especially on the community college system, which is experiencing unprecedented growth

o   A looming issue on the horizon will be fiscal year 2011-12 revenue picture, temporary taxes are set to expire, fiscal stimulus money dries up and early projections indicate revenue growth will not be sufficient to close the gap

·         Projected to be a challenging upcoming fiscal year 2010-11 budget year for the State

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT – GOVERNING BODY – APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Chairman Walker entertained a motion to approve or amend the February 4, 2010

 

Agenda.

 

            Commissioner Inman moved to approve the February 4, 2010 Agenda as presented. 

 

Vice Chairman Lankford seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Presentation of Current Revenues and Expenditures

 

            Finance Director Julia Edwards presented the following information:

 

·         Total available cash as of 01-31-10 = $20,499,394.87

·         Total ad valorem taxes collected as of 01-31-10 = $18,807,364.80

·         Total ad valorem taxes collected as of 01-31-09 = $17,046,676.62

·         Has collected $192,577.09 ad valorem taxes since February 1st  - second           notices have were sent out on January 27th

·         Social Services’ State reimbursements remain two months behind

·         Health Departments’ State reimbursements remain one month behind

 

As of 01/31/2009

As of 01-31-2010

%

Total Revenues

 $            27,744,003.75

 $      29,125,976.18

70.15

Total Expenditures

 $            19,548,841.95

 $      19,407,052.62

51.06

 

 

            The Board discussed the financial report with Manager Steen and Finance Director

 

Edwards.

 

Presentation of Sales Tax Information

 

            Finance Director Julia Edwards presented the following sales tax information:

 

Percentage

July

August

September

October

November

Total

Budget

Collected

F/Y 09-10

$  372,426.74

$ 340,261.42

$  326,548.15

$ 327,272.25

$  220,953.76

$ 1,587,462.32

$  3,799,000.00

41.79%

F/Y 08-09

$  540,072.25

$ 404,428.95

$  460,802.52

$ 409,563.59

$  352,958.37

$ 2,167,825.68

$  4,870,000.00

44.51%

Difference

$(167,645.51)

$(64,167.53)

$(134,254.37)

$(82,291.34)

$(132,004.61)

$  (580,363.36)

$(1,071,000.00)

 

·         Article 42 changed from point of delivery to point of sale which started with

October collections

·         Article 44 ended with October collections

·         Changes were due to the Medicaid Relief Program

·         Percentage per months collected = 41.66%

·         Percentage per budget = 41.79%

·         Sales taxes revenue are always two months behind

 

The Board discussed the sales tax information with Manager Steen and Finance Director

 

Edwards.  

 

Commissioner Inman noted the County continues to budget revenues conservatively.

 

Manager Steen noted that Administration continues to do quarterly reviews along with new

 

collection procedures.  Finance Director Edwards noted that the Board has a budget amendment

 

which reflects the recent quarterly reviews in the February 8th Agenda.

 

Need to Implement Furlough Days or Allow for Retro Payment of Longevity Increases

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         Information received indicates the County is on target with budget projections

·         Feels the County will be very close to revenue projections

·         Do not feel there is a need to recommend furlough days at this time

·         Funding for longevity increases ($141,000) has been budgeted in contingency

·         If approved by the Board, longevity increases would be in the March payroll

·         Recommends implementation of longevity increases

 

Commissioner Carroll noted that the Board agreed a decision to implement the

 

longevity increases would be made at the mid-year budget review if the revenues were coming

 

in at or above the same level for the previous year.

 

            Commissioner Carroll stated he saw no reason to not implement the longevity plan.

 

            Commissioner Inman concurred with Commissioner Carroll to implement the longevity

 

plan.

 

            The Board discussed implementation of the longevity plan retro back to July 1, 2009.

 

            Chairman Walker entertained a motion.

 

            Commissioner Inman moved to implement the payment of longevity increases retro back to

 

July 1, 2009 for the 2009-10 fiscal year.  Vice Chairman Lankford seconded and the motion carried

 

unanimously.

 

Anticipated Increases in Expenditures for Upcoming Fiscal Year 2010-11

Health and Dental Insurances

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         Will not have any premium information until March

·         County changed generic prescription co-pays to $0 effective 07-01-09 with           hopes to lower prescription costs which would lower premium costs

·         10% increase for health and dental would result in approximately $140,000    increase in premiums

 

 

 

Employer Retirement Contributions

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         State has notified Counties that there will be an increase in employer contributions for retirement

·         Increases projected to be 1.55 added to the current employer contribution percentage which would result in approximately $150,000 increase in employer contributions

 

Early College Facility Operations

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         With the new the Meadows facility, operational costs estimated to be approximately  $22,000 per year

 

Hospital Losses

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         Hospital losses will hopefully decrease with new management taking                     over operation on March 1, 2010

·         Very hard at the present time to anticipate losses

 

            The Board discussed the potential increases in expenditures presented by Manager Steen.

 

Commissioner Carroll noted the longevity plan for each fiscal year would be decided during

 

the budget process.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford noted that the County could possibly incur costs related to

 

Day Care.  If grant funding is available for repairs to the building, there will most likely

 

be a match.

 

            Manager Steen noted that the County has received a projected cost of approximately

 

$125,000 to take care of repairs to the facility.  Currently, there is a possibility of a grant

 

from the Rural Center, but the grant has a 50% match.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford noted that there could be ARC funding that could be used for the

 

match.

 

            Manager Steen noted further information would possibly be available at the February 22nd

 

meeting.  Manager Steen also noted that a provider would have to provide a business plan to be

 

included with the grant which is due March 1, 2010.

 

            The Board discussed the grant being job creation.

 

            Chairman Walker questioned the County being able to use funding to assist a provider

 

with re-opening the facility and the short length of time to inform those who might be  interested in

 

providing a business plan for the grant.

 

 

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford noted that funding would be used to bring the County building

 

up to code which must be done in order to use the facility.

 

            The Board briefly discussed the issue.

 

            Chairman Walker noted the need for further discussion regarding the issue.

 

            Commissioner Inman noted the need to look closely at using any of the hold harmless

 

funding this upcoming fiscal year especially with the hold harmless projected to end after next

 

budget year.

 

            Commissioner Carroll noted that the Board needs to consider the $100,000 set aside

 

in Contingency for the school system’s current expense even though it was not on tonight’s

 

Agenda.   Commissioner Carroll stated this allocation was also to be decided at mid-year budget

 

review just like the longevity increases.

 

            The Board discussed adding the item to tonight’s Agenda.

 

            The Board agreed to add the item to the February 8th Agenda.

 

            Commissioner Carroll requested debt service information.  Finance Director Edwards

 

stated she would provide the debt service information at the February 8th meeting.

           

Anticipated Revenues for Upcoming Fiscal Year 2010-11

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen presented the Board with 2010 estimations of

 

value and collection rates provided by Tax Administrator Oakley.

           

Manager Steen noted the following:

 

·         Total increase in values is estimated at $16 million which would result in approximately $96,000 in new revenues

 

Tax Administrator Oakley noted the following:

 

·         2009-10 tax scroll = $3,622,946,417 (total county value)

·         As of 2-2-2010, 10/11 values = $3,639,031,981 (total county value)

·         Estimated increases can always decrease due to not knowing how many taxpayers will apply for farm deferment, disability exemption, business depreciation, etc.

·         Small amount of growth

·         Very little building

·         Could be a possible decrease in public utilities

·         Estimated growth could possibly be offset by business depreciation

 

The Board discussed tax revenues with Tax Administrator Oakley.

 

Board Guidance for Upcoming Fiscal Year 2010-11 Budget Development

 

            Manager Bryan Steen noted the following:

 

·         Presentation of proposed fiscal year 2010-11 budget – May 24, 2010

·         Possible Public Hearing date – June 7th at 7:00 pm

 

 

The Board discussed possible dates for the public hearing and budget work sessions.

 

The Board discussed having the Public Hearing on June 8th.

 

Chairman Walker noted the Board would continue discussion regarding dates for budget

 

work sessions at a later meeting.

 

Manager Steen requested guidance from the Board regarding whether the Board would

 

like to talk to each individual department about their proposed budget.

 

            The Board unanimously agreed that the County Manager would review the departmental

 

budgets with department heads and if there is reason determined by the Board of Commissioners

 

to have department heads present information, the Board of Commissioners will request their

 

presence during the budget work sessions.

 

            Manager Steen requested if the Board had any capital projects that they would like

 

Administration to look into regarding cost such as paving the parking lot.

 

            Chairman Walker, with full consensus of the Board, directed Manager Steen to bring

 

any capital projects in question to the Goals Session meeting for further discussion.

           

Goals Session Meeting on March 3, 2010

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford stated that he had a conflict with the Goals Session meeting

 

scheduled for March 3rd – NCACC- Board of Directors meeting in Raleigh.

 

            Manager Steen noted there was a tentative date mentioned – March 11th at 10:30 am

 

            Chairman Walker requested Board members bring their calendars to the Feb. 8th

 

meeting for further discussion regarding rescheduling the March 3rd Goals Session meeting.

 

Adjournment

 

There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Walker entertained       

 

a motion to adjourn the meeting.

 

Commissioner Inman moved to adjourn the meeting.   Commissioner Smith

 

seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________                                  _____________________________

Darlene M. Bullins                                                    Jimmy Walker

Clerk to the Board                                                    Chairman