Monday, September 12, 2016

12 September 2016 Dearborn County Council BUDGET Meeting Notes

 12 September 2016 Dearborn County Council BUDGET Meeting Notes

Present: Liz Morris, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Dan Lansing, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, Alan Goodman, and Bill Ullrich. 

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Leah Bailey

Register Publications and The Bright Beacon also are covering parts of the budget hearings. 

Paige Sansone - Umbaugh and Associates- prepared a comprehensive financial plan to go along with the budget review. 
They have  list of county funds lists and uses. This will help to tell them that some things coming out of general fund that can come out of other funds potentially.

Power point presentation: 

Identify potential funding deficits and options to mitigate those decreases in funding.They analyzed the 12 primary funds that cover the operating costs of the county.
They created a baseline from 2114-15 to project out. They based on the economy to show some issues. The circuit breaker losses are 2.6% of property tax levy. This is $216,000. Property tax levy’s going up 

Farm land assessments are decreasing in 2017. This could raise circuit breaker losses. This would make it to $500,000+ in losses. 

LOIT formerly known as COIT is increasing by 9% in 2017 so $3.7 mill rises to $4.41 million in 2018. 

10% decrease in dock receipts on RR. 6.6% decrease in the other receipts per year.

3% increase in services. Capital outlays were flatlined. 

General fund and COIT fund was split out and now the state are putting them together. 

Receipts and Disbursements were outlined. Encourage them to match the two. 2014 $17.2 mil and R $16.4 mil 
800,000 and now 900,000 were spent down out of reserves the last 2 years. 

$16.3 million should be the balanced budget for the general fund. 
2014 to 2018 mapped out. Ending cash balance should be at least 15% of budget. 

$2.6 million should be the reserve and we are more like $500,000. 

Counties with LOIT and wheel tax achieve this 15% of budget as reserves. No one wants to raise taxes and because of property tax gaps we need to look at this. 

Riverboat revenue provides strong cash reserves and going forward those are declining. 

Ending 2016 will have a 5% cash reserve.

$18. 9 million is current budget so deficit it $2.6million.
You can see that you are using your cash reserves even though they are strong. They are essentially spoken for - on things you need. 
Can switch cash reserves from Cum Courthouse and switch to general fund. Unless you need it for others. 

About $300,000 come into the Capital Improvements fund each year, but have been spending about $550,000. 
.0130 can go to 0.333 on the rate for that fund. We have gone up to that in some years. This increases the overall tax rate but increases the circuit breaker rate. 

Health Dept budget needs to look at and reduce by $22,000. Health dept has revised charges for services. $522,400 should be about what they should be this year.

911- state revenues that fund for about $700,000 evenly. Cash reserves need to be looked at. They are a little bit out of balance now. $705,600 would be recommended to balance the budget. Cash reserves are about 66% now.

Reassessment Fund- county shifts general fund and back to this fund. The fund is out of balance. They might have to project some from general back to this. $100,000 of property tax needs to go back to this from general by 2019. A lot of counties are in this boat. 

RR supported funds:
A bit confusing to them where all we spend this.
Dock receipts 97% general 3% to RR
$11.3 mil 2014 ,$10.2 mill  2015, and $9.4 mill in 2016
Paige Sansone showed that a lot is going to a set of other funds. Also some showing in RR Savings funds. 
She says that the riverboat revenues are declining at a rapid pace!!!
Riverboat Contingency- has had strong cash reserves. $709,000 in 2014, $ 573,000 in 2015 and so on. Proposed budget is $500,000 for 2017. 

Growth and Development- seeing declining revenues. Project dependent. Average reserves of $4.5 million. Money used for projects. Budget this as $893,000 for 2017.
Riverboat Savings- can make big $1.1 million coming into the fund. But we spent $7million. Cash balances are running to $10.4 million. even with the $7million spent. 

LOIT - big changes in legislation to simplify this and increased the maximum rate you can have. 

Property tax relief bucket, Expenditure bucket for certified shares , public safety, and economic development.

We have  a .6% expenditure rate and can be raised to 1.5% on this. 

Going to the max and just using public safety for the sheriff, jail etc. is what a lot of other counties are doing. That goes them the most money to shift. Could go to 1.2% perhaps. There is room to do property tax relief. 

Homestead deduction $45,000 plus another 35%- so two of these still used. Good deal for homeowners- not owners of rental property.

Dearborn county has 68% of population so they have over 50% of the vote and can enact LOIT increases on the whole county alone.

Wheel tax also is an option. These can help with declining riverboat revenue.

Property tax projected for 2017 is on p 8 of financial report- $7.5 million. Estimating a total of $16.3 million in revenue. 

Morris said it’s not happy information- but it is good data. Budget is flat. 

Glen Wright- RECORDERS OFFICE- Morris asked about the $500 for uniforms. These were to identify the staff for people coming in. Also need signage in the building to show where all the offices are. Morris suggested magnetic name tags for the staff instead of etc uniform shirt- functional and permanent. Council didn't see need for the uniform though Wright argued that the staff needs to look professional but also not have something that can’t handle the old books and sharp corners in etc office. Wright also brought up the safety issue when they had a situation last week. They need to have safety committee meet again perhaps. Both that and the signage are to be addressed to etc county administrator by Wright at Morris’s request. 

Rick Probst- COUNTY CLERK- some restructure in the office staff covering different duties. Has two employees moving from Deputy 3 to 2 and one moving from Deputy 2 to 1 in the office. Still has 5 Deputy 3s (entry level position.) One of the built in wall shaves is going away with the remodeling in the annex/courthouse. He has to replace that. Computer for finance manager and office/IV-D Manager. Part f his rotating replacement schedule. Going to get about16% of the 2nd computer out of IV-D budget. No elections  in year 2017. Changes in election law make our equipment out of date after this election. They will refurbish it to comply with current contractor. It could last about 10 more years then. Also concerned that changes in federal election law are coming so no need to make major expensive changes before that. Shelving units could qualify for perpetuation fund- which has $25,000?

Dr Scudder and Mary Calhoun- HEALTH DEPT- nurses deposits now go into health fund. Starting program to get Medicaid. Increased fees are bringing revenue in line. 31 applicants to fill a vacancy in health dept. Try to get budget to $530,000 for 2017. 
DC Regional sewer District- DCRSD- consider spinning them off- $4.5 million even and $1.2 million left.  - in their budget. Special district - and they can still be special agency like solid waste but file with the county. They won’t be able to levy taxes. Council decided they need more info on how the would work. This was brought up by state board of accounts. Renihan, Stenger, Hankins, Wentzel, etc on that board. Pennington to get more info on this for Council. 

Terri Randall- and Shane McHenry- COMMISSIONERS - Salaries- GIS coordinator moved to P&Z so McCormack could supervise. Asking that payroll for this move to P&Z. Also getting other parts of the budget moved on that. 
Done projections for Worker’s Comp. Getting closer to not having a True-UP. $150,000 for WC and $50,000 is in highway. Total expenses for county she’s rounding to $180,000. Sue Ellen keeps on this per Randall. 
Transitional re-insurance- is the Obama Care. This year we paid $21,000. Taking this to $30,000. 
Unemployment insurance is $55,000 - take it to $35,000. based on what we spent this year. Unemployment claims have gone down. Sue Ellen has done a good job of defending the county. 

Lawsuits and settlements to RQAW- Kraus asked what that was about. Randall talked about County retainer at $28,000. Base for county attorney. He bills for additional services. Deductibles on liability insurance. As to RQAW- Still in litigation over that contract- breach of contract suit. Currently going to mediation with them. They went over and beyond per Ullrich working on the design. We have no breach of contract coverage. Other legal fees are what we normally run. 

Liability insurance is 6% increase.  

Gasoline- Morris asked about lowering it to $20,000 for the year. 
EMT training went up a lot. Randall said they used $100,000 and took $10,000 to get the website set up to get more volunteers. The other money s used as incentives to the squads to make the first runs. 

Antivirus software and back up software and computer license. The antivirus is for 3 years. The GIS software expense on this moves to P&Z. 
Midwest Data contracts separately for the courthouse and for the admin building. They are considering putting them all together.Morris said to leave the numbers alone for 2017. They can pursue that for 2018. Looking it as one big number would be a bigger number to negotiate. 

McHenry showed up at this point. Kraus asked about the $120,000 for a lobbyist. It’s $72,000 for Lewes and Kappas in the past. McHenry said that the Barnes and Thornburg covers more for the $120,000 than just Riverboat Revenue. They cover the federal and state issues. Every Friday there is a conference call with them and they go over every bill that is being discussed. AIC has a lobbyist and they represent all counties per Morris. Does she not think that Barnes and Thornburg represent other counties beside us? Barnes and Thornburg has many clients for which they lobby.

Terri Randall and Jim Deaton- REDEVELOPMENT- Started classifying things under marketing now so that signage or flyers go into that. $50,000. Redevelopment members have to be bonded- $2,000. Only $500 was expended. 

Kraus- brought up the salaries for Council and Council’s budget- legal dues, education etc.Kept legal as a placeholder with $150. Travel and mileage is mostly on Morris. Trying to do more webinars to save mileage. 

Child Advocacy Center- Morris very reluctant to give it up. Even though they have other funding. 

Cutting Youth Services- as they have had hardly any requests for it really. Cut it to $1500. 

Cutting New Horizon’s per Morris as they have federal funding. New Horizon’s have healthy lunches at the library per Pennington.

RSVP was cut in half last year- they do a lot for etc Bright Fire Dept and festival stuffing envelopes.  

Lunch break- 12-1

1:05 Pm resumed.
Aaron Negangard- PROSECUTOR- Morris said- we don’t have an axe for your budget- using a pocketknife. Negangard looked at his budget said he thinks it is pretty much on course with what he had last year. Obama overtime rule applied to one of his employees. Pennington said that this was the only county employee this applied to. Victim matching fund- Negangard said the way a victims grant worked over the years- it started out and grew with raises and such and so now there needs to have more county money to balance that out. Grants started since McLaughlin was prosecutor. The match was done in-house and sometimes there was no specific cash money to match. Morris said witness fees is double what we spent last year. He has been funding it out of various accounts. Negangard said he had paid some of this out of seizure funds. Council cut this to $10,000. Negangard said this includes all witness fees. AIT is a big part of this is by blood testing for alcohol at $180 each. The reimbursements from the arrested person is not always coming in. DRUG driving also is driving this cost up. They can supplement this out of seizure. Pennington asked if this was something withheld out of the bond. Answer no. Several thousand dollars a month- like $5-6,000 a month. Office supplies $12,000 and asked for $20,000. Spent almost $15,000 i 2015 per Ullrich. Negangard wanted to keep it all. Negangard said 10-15 years ago we didn't have audio-video. Body cameras- store data and type it up if it goes to trial. Transcription for trial costs several thousand dollars. Again- we will supplement that money out of seized account. So he knocked that back to $20,000. He wanted to have a budget to show them what was being spent. So he just uses his seized accounts to cover the rest??? Whenever??? Is this seized account audited?

Longevity jumped from $3900 to $10,000 how did that happen if it was frozen? asked Morris. Leah Bailey said she did corrections to fix it at the end of every year. 

Pre trial diversion- Negangard said it fluctuates from year to year. This is based on cases. It increased in excess of income last year so he is cutting it back.

We started up SCU Special Crimes Unit with seized money. He felt there needed to be clear lines on how money is spent with mayor’s board oversight and he thought it would be appropriate to have Council’s oversight. It provides transparency. Lawrenceburg gave $75,000 last year. He is pointing our=t again what is being supplemented. Morris said she is appreciating how he is trying to help county general out by supplementing with his seized accounts. Even though SBOA approved this years ago he wants more transparency and he wants the Council to know what it really is costing. The way SCU works the officers are answerable to their own police dept. Their main salary is paid out of that money. If they work OVERTIME on a case, the SCU reimburses OT pay for the unit. They just recently worked a case with Ripley County, but they aren't part of this. 

Ullrich- said this is all like what was reported in the NY Times article. Really I wanted you guys to see what we are doing with it said Negangard. [NOTE: Question- I wonder what happens when the seized funds get cut by the Dept of Justice? Then how do these services get paid? Is this what is behind the push to possibly increase LOIT for the  Public Safety so it goes to  jails, sheriff, courthouse? It was note that 60% of the budget is already sent in those areas. If we were to rase taxes perhaps it should be for the general public and go to roads, bridges, and infrastructure.]

Cell phone analysis's being done know on any case when we seize a phone. Also computers. We had a case where a guy killed a one year old on his birthday. On his computer there were searches that showed he had asked questions about what happens when you stomp on a one year old…

Morris noted that this money could be spent in others ways- it’s just sad we have to spend it to protect us from this element. Negangard said what was not in the article is the amount of time we spend trying NOT to incarcerate people. He thinks we have a model for other people. JCAP-  how it reduces recidivism by half. Negangard says our judges are innovative on their approach. We have strong law enforcement. Recently expanded JCAP to 48 beds. He thinks what we are doing in Dearborn County is working and improving safety. 

Ullrich asked about what Negangard thinks about increased availability of Narcan? Negangard said there has to be consequences. Some people are using their entire supply of Narcan on one person! And they still don’t reform. Some places do not arrest on Narcan calls. He disagrees- if they can make an arrest, they do. There needs to be consequences. Hold people accountable even as we are saving their lives. 

Adult Protective services- there was a series in INDY Star a while back on this. People are being taken advantage of and the legislature acted. Dearborn County is a HUB county serving 5 counties in the region. They administer the resources. Switzerland, Jefferson, Ohio, and Ripley County. Future of APS will be a big issue in the next legislature. They now no longer subsidize this in his office- he has now made it match up to what they are granting. Nothing out of county general on this.

[NOTE: It is apparent that a lot of programs are run by grants with seized funds subsidizing it.] 

Prosecutor, Clerk, and County General Incentive money- he gave to us- and now it has to be spent on child support. This covers that case worker. 

Lifetime Resources- requested $10,000. They have over $950,000 in grants in the county. They went over all the programs they provide for the elderly, in home, catch a ride etc. They keep ride prices low. The bus schedule depends on what people request- it is not the same day to day.

Solid Waste- Sandy Whitehead- Director. Requesting the same budget that they had last year. Approved their budget- Solid Waste only has to present for approval- they are a free standing agency. She will get a DLGF form for them to sign for this later.

Surveyor- Dennis Kraus Jr.- Council cut several items by about $250 each. Conferences, education and training, mileage, etc. Tires will roll over to 2017 budget if he has a quote on them this year. Printer money is running low this year. 

I left after this at about 2:15 PM 

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

Most states (under Criminal Code) call for civil asset forfeiture funds to be audited. Some states are more restrictive than others as to what the monies can be spent on.

Anonymous said...

So how much money does Negangard have in his seized account?

Just wondering!! It should be audited!