STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA )                    OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

                                                            )                    STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COUNTY OF STOKES                   )                    DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

                                                            )                    JUNE 16, 2010

 

           

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

 

for a Budget Work Session in the Commissioners Chambers of the Ronald Wilson Reagan

 

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

 

June 16, 2010 at 9:00 am 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

                                               

                                                                                                                                                           

Chairman Jimmy Walker called the Budget Work Session to order.

 

Commissioner Smith 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. 

 

Budget Work Session

 

Emergency Medical Services

 

            The Board unanimously agreed at a prior work session to have EMS Director Monty

 

Stevens attend a work session to discuss the requested quick response vehicle included in the

 

EMS budget recommended by the Manager.

 

 

            EMS Director Stevens noted the following:

 

·         Current vehicle used is an Expedition, which is no longer manufactured

·         Current Expedition is based on a Ford 250 chassis

·         Looked for a vehicle that was similar to the Ford 250 chassis

·         Looked at future needs for the department

·         Looked at a truck with a separate box that could be replaced in the future

·         Considered a vehicle that could haul a bariatric stretcher (one is on order) which transports a patient whose weight is 900 – 1,000 lbs, current stretchers can only transport a patient who weighs up to 350 lbs

·         Currently, transports for patients weighing over 350 lbs have to wait for available units from either Forsyth, Surry, or Rockingham counties

·         Looked for a vehicle that could be used by the shift supervisor and be able to haul the bariatric stretcher

·         Having the bariatric stretcher on the vehicle used by the shift supervisor would be time saving for the patient

·         Currently, medical examiner’s cases are transported by the shift supervisor

·         With the current setup, there is no barrier between the shift supervisor driving the Expedition and the deceased body

·         Requested vehicle would eliminate having a deceased body next to the driver of the vehicle

·         Rescue tool purchased by the previous fire marshal is kept in the shift supervisor’s vehicle, fuel for this tool is also transported by shift supervisor

·         Requested vehicle would have separate compartments for the rescue tool and fuel which would be separated from the driver

·         The box on the requested vehicle can be transferred to a different chassis

·         Mileage on the current vehicle is 174,000 miles

·         Northwest Emergency Vehicles has started carrying a line of truck/box vehicles

 

Vice Chairman Lankford confirmed with Director Stevens that the current vehicle driven

 

by the shift supervisor is driven several thousand miles a year.

 

            The Board discussed the following regarding the requested quick response vehicle with

 

Director Stevens:

 

·         Usage of a bariatric stretcher

·         Increased gas consumption with a larger vehicle

·         Continual increase in the cost of fuel

·         Closed in box that can transport the bariatric stretcher

·         Trying to stay with a 250 chassis

·         Current needs to transport patients who weigh over 350 lbs are being met with mutual aid agreement with other counties

·         Mileage driven by shift supervisors

·         Possibly placing the bariatric stretcher in a central location

·         Possibly purchasing a Suburban for the shift supervisor if the bariatric stretcher could be placed in a spare ambulance

 

Commissioner Smith suggested looking at placing the bariatric stretcher in the spare

 

ambulance located at the Pinnacle station and buying another bariatric stretcher for a spare

 

unit to be located in Danbury.

 

Social Services

 

Manager Steen discussed the following:

·         14.65% increase - $105,840 in personnel cost

·         Increase in personnel services – longevity, increase in health/dental premiums and mandated employer retirement contributions

·         Complicated budget with federal and state funding

·         Recommended budget includes the purchase of 9 vehicles with federal/state funding = $73,986 and county funding = $56,514

·         Recommended one new position – Income Maintenance Investigator I

·         Recommended four cell phones for Child Protective Service Social Workers for safety issues

 

The Board discussed the purchase of the 9 vehicles for DSS.

 

Commissioner Inman noted an increase in county funding of approximately $101,951.

 

Finance Director Edwards noted the State increased the county’s cost proportion by 2.44%

 

this year which means more county funding.

 

            The Board discussed the following regarding Social Services requested budget:

 

·         Professional Services – increase of approximately $26,000 (imaging services)

·         Increase in Title XIX Travel – approximately $120,000 (no county funding)

·         Maintenance of Effort (MOE) = $50,750 allocated for Fiscal Year 2010-11

·         IV-D Incentive Expense = $59,134 not budgeted last year (no county funding)

·         TANF Travel (MOE) = $50,000 increase

·         State and Federal funding are only estimates, budget amendments might have to be done when final allotments are received (to reflect deceases or increases)

·         Recommended Income Maintenance Investigator I position – prior IM Investigator recouped overpayments in excess of the cost for the salary and fringes of the position

·         Constant increase in the number of individuals applying for services due to the economy

 

Manager Steen noted that if cuts were made to the DSS budget, Federal and State estimated

 

revenues will have to be decreased.

 

            Chairman Walker noted the Board would revisit the DSS budget for further discussion.

 

Social Services - Aid to the Blind

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         No changes

 

Social Services - Day Care Services

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         5.17% decrease

 

Social Services – Medical Assistance

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         No changes

 

Social Services – Public Assistance Programs

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         32.45% mandated increases

 

Solid Waste

 

Manager Steen discussed the following:

·         6.28% decrease

·         16 greenbox containers being purchased instead of 8 as indicated in the proposed budget (Early College will need greenbox containers)

·         Contractual services decreased $53,800

 

Finance Director Edwards noted that Hold Harmless funding listed on page 58 in the

 

amount of $26,000 should be $16,000.

 

            The Board discussed the following regarding the Solid Waste budget:

 

·         Possibly looking into curbside pickup in the future

·         Decease in auto supplies

·         Current garbage truck fleet

 

 

 

Commissioner Smith questioned using Hold Harmless funding to purchase greenbox

 

containers (labeled as non recurring expenses) that are normally purchased each year.

 

            Manager Steen noted that with the limited sources of revenues, decisions were made

 

to purchase capital outlay items with Hold Harmless funding, that way if Hold Harmless is not

 

received, items don’t have to be purchased unless absolutely necessary.

 

            The Board discussed the use of Hold Harmless Funding for the purchase of capital items =

 

$58,286.

 

            Finance Director Julia Edwards notified the Board that the County had received notification

 

of an estimated $50,695 reduction in the anticipated Hold Harmless revenue from the State today,

 

with Hold Harmless projected funding now being $2,108,571. (Hold Harmless is normally received 

 

the first of August)

 

            The Board discussed the estimated $750,000 loss in sales tax revenue.

 

Special Appropriation

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         .31% increase

·         Increase (approximately $8,284) for NC Forestry Services which includes the county’s share for the purchase of a new vehicle

·         Increase for Juvenile Crime Prevention Council’s county match (Stokes Friends of Youth)

·         Decrease in Stokes County Fire and Rescue Association allocation due to finding out that the Association had the following amounts in different accounts:

o   $8,254 in checking

o   $17,707 in a savings account

o   $10,237 in an 18 month CD

o   $10,400 in a 24 month CD

·         Recommended funding for the Rural Water Project  which is obtaining water points throughout the county (each department is allocated $1,500 this year  - funds will be disbursed upon receipt of the invoice) Program can possibly lower homeowners’ insurance rating

 

Chairman Walker noted that the County had received a budget request in the amount

 

of $5,000 the night of the Public Hearing from the King Chamber of Commerce for services

 

proved by the chamber pertaining to Stokes County.

 

Commissioner Carroll suggested in future budgets, the Board should consider taking

 

the Stokes County Fire and Rescue Association’s budget away from the General Fund and prorating

 

it among all the Fire Districts.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford agreed with Commissioner Carroll that the Board should

 

look at transferring the Stokes County Fire and Rescue Association’s budget to be prorated

 

among all the Fire Districts.  Vice Chairman Lankford suggested possibly discussing the

 

item in January 2011 before the budget process starts for fiscal year 2011-12.

 

            Manager Steen suggested possibly re-examining the mission and the intent of the Fire

 

and Rescue Association.

 

            Commissioner Carroll suggested allocating $5,000 in the Economic Development budget to

 

assist Economic Development partners, this type of funding would help those who take on

 

economic initiatives to benefit the county.  This type of line item (contingency) could possibly help

 

with the request received from the King Chamber of Commerce which requested $5,000 after the

 

budget was presented to the Board of Commissioners.

 

            Chairman Walker noted he liked the idea suggested by Commissioner Carroll of budgeting

 

an Economic Development Contingency line item and would like to further discuss the idea.

 

Superior Court

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         7.03% decrease

·         Funding for jury commissioners will not be budgeted this year (funded every other year)

·         Recommended $3,500 for furniture from Hold Harmless funding

 

Tax Administration

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         15.52 % increase

·         Recommended budget includes the use of LockBox Fees estimated for the whole year

·         Recommended budget includes full fiscal year of fees for Interstate Collection Agency

·         Elimination of one position from last year due to the implementation of the LockBox Services

·         Dell Server purchase will be funded from Capital Reserve

·         New server will allow the new aerials to be available on line for the citizens

·         Did not recommend the requested reclassification

·         Did not recommend the part time position going to full time

 

Manager Steen noted that he did not recommend any reclassifications in this year’s

 

proposed budget for any department due to trying to provide a balanced budget with the expected

 

revenue decreases.

 

Transfer to other Funds

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         537.25% increase due to transferring Hold Harmless funding

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards noted the following:

·         Uses Hold Harmless for the following:

o   Capital Reserve – radio upgrade = $200,000

o   Capital Projects – Community College Architect =$286,400 (additional $13,600 will be coming from Capital Reserve)(total allocation = $300,000)

o   Dedicated Fund –Debt Service = $278,705

 

The Board discussed the upcoming mandate for the E911 radio upgrade estimated at $1.8

 

million by 2013 and the Dedicated Fund –Debt Service of $278,705 which is part of the county’s

 

financial model.

 

Vehicle Maintenance

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         3.30% increase

·         $600 allocated from Capital Reserve for the purchase of a tire pressure monitor

 

Veteran Services

 

Manager Steen noted the following:

·         5.18% decrease

·         New VA Officer passed the required VA certification test and is doing very well in the position

 

Capital Reserve Fund

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards discussed the following transfers:

·         Transferring to Capital Reserve:

o   SRO Officers - funding $10,000 for purchase of a vehicle

o   Radio upgrade in the amount of $200,000 (Hold Harmless Funding)

·         Transferring to General Fund:

o   Tax Server = $23,000

o   EMS – Computers = $27,000

o   Vehicle Maintenance – Tire pressure monitor = $600.00

·         Transferring to Capital Projects Fund

o   Architect for Community College Project = $13,600.00

           

Capital Projects Fund

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards discussed the following:

·         $300,000 for architectural services for future Community College

·         $286,400 to be allocated from Hold Harmless funding

·         $13,600 to be allocated from Capital Reserve

 

Dedicated Fund Account – Debt Service

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards discussed the following:

·         Fund was established to transfer savings from Debt Service for future debt

·         Transfer to General Fund $104,316 for Community College Debt Payment (Early College Project)

 

Enhanced 911 Fund

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards discussed the following:

·         73.24% increase

·         Using E911 funds to purchase the following:

o   4 computers = $18,000

o   2 computers (to be used in GIS Mapping) = $9,000

o   CenturyLink - upgrade phone system = $269,485

o   Mobile Command Unit – IP Solution = $27,000 (can use the mobile unit located in the parking lot instead of having to go to King if Communications system goes down)

·         EMD Training for Telecommunicators can be paid using E911 funding

·         E911 has a separate fund balance

·         $115,210 be allocated from the E911 fund balance

 

 

Revaluation

 

Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         1.65% increase due to personnel costs

·         No major changes

·         Next Revaluation will be effective January 1, 2013

 

School – Capital Outlay and Capital Reserve

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards explained the following:

·         28.22% decrease

·         Article 40 and 42 sales tax revenues are placed in the Capital Outlay/Capital Reserve Budget

·         Older debt service for the schools is funded from this account

·         Reduction in sales tax revenue affects the amount of funding available in this account

 

Commissioner Carroll noted the following general observation:

·         $575,900 is being appropriated for the school’s capital outlay with $300,000 being the Board of Education’s funding

·         Funding that is being appropriated ($275,900) will have to maintain 18 schools (approximately $15,327 per campus)

·         Have a major problem with the amount of funding being allocated

·         Would like to discuss this account after the scheduled meeting with the Board of Education on June 22nd

·         Actual budget last year was $1.3 million versus $575,900 recommended for next year (2010-11)

 

The Board discussed the projected lottery funding.

 

Regional Sewer Fund

 

Manager Bryan Steen explained the following:

·         11.58% decrease

·         A percentage of the salaries and fringes for the following positions are charged to the Regional Sewer Fund: Public Works Director, Administrative Assistant, Maintenance Worker/Road Signs and Water Sewer Maint. Technician

·         Purchase of a vehicle is to be paid from sewer funds; vehicle could possibly be used in other departments

 

Danbury Water Fund

 

Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         3.53% increase

·         Repayment of county loan = $11,910.00 (principal and interest)

·         A percentage of the salaries and fringe for the following positions are appropriated from the Danbury Water Fund:  Water/Sewer Maintenance Technician, Public Works Director, Maintenance Worker/Road Signs and Administrative Assistant (Public Works)

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards noted that the salaries and fringes of Water/Sewer

 

Maintenance Tech., Public Works Director, Maintenance Worker/Road Signs and Administrative

 

Assistant (Public Works) are appropriated between General Fund, Regional Sewer Fund, Danbury

 

Water Fund, and the Stokes County Water and Sewer Fund

 

King Fire District Fund

 

            Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         City of King has requested a one cent tax increase that was not recommended by the Manager

·         District was given a one cent tax increase in the current fiscal year

·         Sales tax revenue increased which provided the District with a small increase in revenue

·         Requested additional funding of $500,000 for a new fire truck

·         County funding increased by $15,610

·         Forsyth County funding = $373,049

·         City King of funding = 972,014

·         Grant revenue = $62,733

 

Rural Hall Fire District Fund

 

            Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         Recommended a 1.5 cent tax rate increase as requested in order for Rural Hall to have the same tax rate as the Service District

·         Citizens served by Rural Hall Fire District have a lower fire rating which reduces their homeowners’ premium

 

Walnut Cove Fire District Fund

 

Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         No changes

·         District didn’t request any increases this year

 

Service District Fund

 

Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         No changes have been made to the Fire Commission’s recommendation

·         No appeals have been submitted to County Manager

·         Fire Commission has approved a three-year moratorium on the purchase of equipment

 

Commissioner Carroll requested to see the requested budgets from each fire department in

 

the Service District.

 

Commissioner Smith suggested looking at combining the purchasing for all the departments

 

with items such as turn out gear, radios, etc. in order to save funding.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford noted that each department likes the flexibility to purchase their

 

items individually. 

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford suggested looking at a standard fire truck, but feels that would not

 

be receptive to the fire departments who are private corporations.

 

            Finance Director Edwards noted that the County in previous years has offered the services

 

of the purchasing agent when ordering equipment, supplies, etc., most departments don’t take

 

advantage of these services.

 

Senior Service Center Fund -_Walnut Cove

 

            Manager Bryan Steen discussed the following:

·         5.30% increase

·         Required county match = $7,340

·         $18,176 has been allocated from the Walnut Cove Senior Service Center Fund Balance

·         Center has a Certification of Excellence from the State as a senior center

 

The Board had no issues the recommended budget for the Walnut Cove Senior Services

 

Center Fund.

 

Chairman Walker reminded the Board that the meeting scheduled for June 17th has

 

been rescheduled for Monday, June 21th at 2:00 pm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjournment

 

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

 

a motion to adjourn the Work Session.

 

Commissioner Smith moved to adjourn the Budget Work Session.   Commissioner

 

Carroll seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________                                  _____________________________

Darlene M. Bullins                                                    Jimmy Walker

Clerk to the Board                                                    Chairman