MINUTES OF A SPECIAL/WORKSHOP MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a Special/Workshop meeting on Monday, August 30, 1993, at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Fred Wilkerson, Chairman
V. C. Cannon
Sue B. Suggs
Other persons in attendance were: Jackie R. Barron, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Kelly Johnson, & Denise Troyer, Deputy Clerks, Sheriff Jim Floyd, Chief Deputy Jim Cooper, Mary Kate Colson & Gary Blankenship, Sheriff's staff, Albert Martin
The purpose of this special meeting is to hold a budget workshop and to consider other items of business.
Mr. Albert Martin appeared before the Board to discuss the roof leak at the Health Department, on the east side of the building. It is possible that the roof is leaking due to the storm in March. The Board advised Mr. Martin to check the section on the west side as well and report back to the Board.
Mr. Martin stated that the door to the courtroom is in need of repair. Mr. Barron stated that this repair could be charged back to the Court Facilities Trust Fund, and the Board authorized Mr. Martin to make the necessary repairs.
The Board discussed the Sheriff's budget request, and explained that they are unable to fund his request at the level presented. Sheriff Floyd wants to add one more full time deputy, due to the increase in civil papers which have to be served by a law enforcement officer. The Sheriff proposes this position be funded in the Bailiff's budget. The Board questioned the Sheriff about the security officer's position, which is also funded by the Bailiff's budget. The Board asked the Sheriff if there have been any incidents, which the security officer has circumvented, since he has been stationed outside the courtroom. At this time, the Board requested the security officer, Gary Blankenship, to appear before them. Mr. Blankenship stated that although there have not been any serious incidents, he occasionally confiscates pocket knives from people before they enter the courtroom. The current location of the security officer provides protection to the county judge's office and courtroom. Mr. Barron stated that the other offices in the courthouse should receive the same protection. He further stated that it is not uncommon for his office to receive irrate individuals, especially in the area of domestic violence. There followed discussion in regards to moving the physical location of the security officer to afford protection to all courthouse employees, as well as which door the public should enter. No further action was taken.
The Board explained to the Sheriff that they needed to look further at the general fund budget and make cuts where feasible before they could consider his budget. The Board asked the Sheriff to go through his budget request and make cuts wherever possible and return this afternoon.
The Board recessed for lunch at 12:00 noon and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
Ms. Susan Bryant, Supervisor of Elections, presented her budget request to the Board. Her request for funding has decreased from last year's request, which included funding for local elections. According to Ms. Bryant, her request includes salary increases for her staff of 3% or $600, whichever is greater.
Ms. Marrianne Bennick, Guardian Ad Litem, appeared before the Board to discuss her budget request for next fiscal year. Ted McFetridge, Deputy Court Administrator for the 8th Judicial Circuit, was also present to answer any questions. The total amount requested is $11,060. This amount is significantly higher than the current year's funding, however, this amount represents the expenses of the program in Levy County as well. They want Gilchrist County to front the expenses, with Levy County reimbursing Gilchrist County, which will be approximately 2/3 of the above figure. Mr. Barron advised Mr. McFetridge to contact Levy County in regards to this proposed agrrangement. Their participation would need to be established before the Board could make a decision.
Ms. Pat Hines, Special Olympics Coordinator for Gilchrist County, appeared before the Board to request funds for next fiscal year. According to Ms. Hines, they have 30 athletes, and thus far, their source for funding has been from donations. Ms. Hines stated that her work as coordinator is volunteer. Ms. Hines gave the Board a brief history of the organization, and stated they are hoping to attend the state competition this year. The cost of sending these young men and women to the state games is $26 per person. The Board asked Ms. Hines how much she is requesting. Ms. Hines replied that she has never sought funding from the Board and would appreciate any assistance they may provide.
Mr. Joyner discussed with the Board to need to locate a new source of rock within the next 6 months, or purchase a dragline to go underwater. In addition, Mr. Joyner stated that they could use another limber. Commissioner Bush stated that he would check on the state contract price on limbers.
Mr. Barron advised the Board that the Transportation Trust Fund was not balanced for next fiscal year. The Board will need to find additional revenues to balance this budget. Mr. Barron further stated that $52,500 anticipated revenues from the 1 cent infrastructure sales tax could be transferred from EMS to Transportation, however, that would still leave the fund unbalanced.
Mr. Barron stated that the Solid Waste fund is balanced for next fiscal year with an adequate reserve. The Board discussed the feasibliity of the county providing door-to-door garbage collection services to county residents. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, for the Board to formulate a study to pursue door to door recycling and solid waste collection, and to budget up to $25,000 toward developing information to evaluate feasiability of such a program. The motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff Floyd and Chief Deputy Cooper returned as the Board requested this morning, and after reviewing their budget request, offered some suggestions as to areas within their budgets that could be cut. Sheriff Floyd stated that he could cut the funding for a new car for next year, which would reduce his request by $16,000. The Board and the Sheriff cut funding is several areas of each budget (except for the DARE budget), totalling $39,855. Even with the cuts made the Sheriff's budget request is $93,910 over the current year's level of funding.
The Board recessed for dinner and reconvened at 7:55 p.m.
Mr. Barron explained to the Board that the increase in property values will the ad valorem revenues for MSTU by approximately $16,000. The anticipated carry-over for this fiscal year will be approximately $20,925. Mr. Barron stated that the budget before the Board reflects the requests of each department. Should the Board fund these departments at their requested levels, the reserve for next fiscal year would be $7951.
According to Mr. Barron, North Gilchrist Volunteer Fire Department did not submit a budget request, therefore, the same amount of funding ($9000) for this current fiscal year was figured into the budget. Fire Chief, David Strom, stated that they are requesting the same amount as this current year. Mr. Strom stated they currently have approximately 15 active members. According to Mr. Strom, they will be carrying over funds at the end of this current fiscal year, and have done so for the past couple of years. Being able to do this has enabled the department to make some capital improvements.
Mr. Steve Bivens spoke to the Board regarding his budget request. According to Mr. Bivens, they are requesting $12,600 for next fiscal year. Mr. Bivens stated that their stationed is usually manned 7 days per week. They have approximately 22 volunteers, which includes a number of EMT's and paramedic's. Commissioner Bush and Commissioner Suggs stated one of the department's fire trucks has been parked at Papaw's store on SR 26 quite frequently during the evenings. Mr. Bivens stated that he was not aware of this situation, however, he would inquire.
Mr. Blackwell presented a proposed contract for next fiscal year, requesting funding of $13,000. Mr. Barron stated that the budget before the Board did not reflect this amount, since their request was not submitted prior to this evening. Mr. Barron further stated the amount before the Board was at the current year's level of funding ($9000). Mr. John Russell, assistant fire chief, stated they would like to drill a well for the fire department as they currently do not have an adequate water supply. This expense would be above their normal operating costs.
Trenton City Manager, Kathryn Deen, appeared before the Board to discuss the city's budget request. Ms. Deen stated that she did not submit a request, however, the city would be agreeable to receiving $9000 for next fiscal year. Ms. Deen further stated that she did not submit a written request because she felt the County would fund them as adequately as their funds would allow.
There followed discussion among the Board and members of the various fire departments present regarding the needs of these departments and the level of funding required to meet those needs. Several expressed their concerns about whether the Board has been made aware of the problems and needs facing these departments. Chairman Wilkerson appointed Commissioner Sheffield to meet with the fire chiefs and Mr. Perryman on a monthly basis.
Commissioner Sheffield suggested that North Gilchrist, Wacasassa, Fanning, Bell, and Trenton's Volunteer Fire Departments each be funded at $10,500 for next fiscal year. Mr. Bivens stated that Wacasassa could not operate at that level because they will have a loan note in the amount of $1600 due next fiscal year, and that would leave only $8900 for them to operate next year. The Board questioned Mr. Bivens as to the amount the department expends on fuel. Compared to the other departments, Wacasassa's fuel consumption is much higher. Mr. Bivens stated that this could be due to the number of calls they respond to, compared to the other departments. Commissioner Bush stated that he would like to see the departments funded according to their level of activity (number of calls). Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to fund each department at $10,500 for next fiscal year. The motion died for lack of a second. Mr. Strom stated that North Gilchrist could operate adequately on $9000. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to fund the departments as follows: Wacasassa Volunteer Department @ $12,600, Bell Volunteer Fire Department @ $13,000, Fanning Springs Volunteer Fire Department @ $9000, Trenton Volunteer Fire Department @ $9000, North Gilchrist Volunteer @ $9000, and Crossroad Volunteer Fire Department @ $5800, holding dispursement of funds to Crossroads until they are established, with the understanding that the above figures for these departments could be altered after a study of their needs and their call load can be evaluated. The motion carried by split vote as follows:
The Board previously reduced the County Judge's budget request, which is funded through General Revenue, by $1000, with the anticipation of funding his equipment from the Court Facilities Trust Fund. The judge anticipates purchasing a PA system for the courtroom, and according to Mr. Barron, that would be a proper expense for Court Facilities to fund.
Mr. Barron stated that the Board previously cut the transfer from General Revenue to Law Library ($2877). Mr. Barron added that the fees collected by the Clerk's Office which flow into the Law Library Fund, are lower in Gilchrist County than other counties. The Board established those fees by ordinance and Mr. Barron suggested they raise those filing fees by $6.50 for civil court and $4.50 for county court. Mr. Barron stated the filing fees for Court Facilities Trust Fund could also be raised by the same amounts. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to authorize Mr. Burt to advertise a public hearing to consider amending the ordinances by raising the filing fees for the Law Library Fund and the Court Facilities Trust Fund. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron explained that according to the statutes, the Board can not anticipate revenues for this fund. The only budgeted item for this fund will be the carry-over.
Mr. Barron stated that the Fine & Forfeiture Fund is used to defray the cost of criminal prosecutions, and appears to be more than adequately funded for next fiscal year. The Board declared $70,000 as surplus funds and transferred those funds to General Revenue. From General Revenue, those funds will be transferred on to the Transportation Trust Fund.
Mr. Barron stated that the State Attorney-Public Defender Trust Fund pays the county's obligation to fund those functions, as well as for special court appointed defenders. This fund is adequately funded for the next fiscal year.
Mr. Barron reported that there were a few expenditures in this fund and therefore a large carry-over is anticipated. Mr. Barron advised the Board that due to personnel changes in his office, he is interested in speaking to the Board at a later date about administering the SHIP program.
There are several capital projects funds, including 911 surcharge, traffic surcharge and mosquito control. These funds are balanced as presented, and adequately funded. Mr. Barron stated that the note on the Weeks buidling is ballooning and will need to be renewed.
Mr. Barron stated that the Solid Waste Fund budget for next fiscal year is balanced at $814,746. According to Mr. Barron there are a few items that need to be budgeted for in this fund, such as $50,000 for ground water monitoring, $1000 for the Adopt-A-County-Road Program, $15,000 for a feasibility study for door to door collection of solid waste and recyclables, and $10,000 for GIS. Revenues should be sufficient to fund these operations.
The Board unanimously approved the Small County Recycling Grant, in the amount of $50,000, for fiscal year 1993-94, upon a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to rescind her previous motion which passed by split vote, to fund the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens, at a rate of $2000 for next fiscal year, and further moves to fund the LARC at $500, Special Olympics at $750, and the Gilchrist Recreation Authority at $750. The motion died for a lack of a second.
Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to fund the LARC $1000 and to fund the Special Olympics $1000, for fiscal year 1993-94. The motion passed by split vote as follows:
The Board discussed the cost of publishing the minutes of Board meetings. Mr. Barron stated that the approximate cost is $5000 per year. This figure may include some other publishing cost, such as agendas, notices, etc., however, the publishing of minutes is a substantial cost. The Board asked whether it was required that the minutes be published. Mr. Barron replied that it was not a requirement. The only requirement is to make them available to the public. The Board agreed that they discontinue to publish the minutes, beginning with the minutes of the new fiscal year, beginning October 1, 1993.
Mr. Barron received quotes today from our current health insurance carrier, AV-MED. Initially, AV-MED reported an 8% rate increase to keep the same coverage. Today's figures reflect a slight increase in premium, and a decrease in benefit for office visits, which will cost $15 instead of $10. Referrals to specialists will increase from $15 to $25. The total increase for these coverages will be $5.24 per month for single coverage and $12.05 per month for family coverage. The Board agreed to go with plan A, described above.
Minutes of the meeting held August 2, 1993, were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Sheffield, which was seconded by Commissioner Cannon.
Mr. Barron stated that he has received a letter from the Small County Coalition regarding the county's membership for next fiscal year. The cost for membership is $998.40. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to maintain their membership in the Small County Coalition by resolution. The motion carried unanimously and the resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS, the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners has determined that there is a need to have information, interpretation and consultation services that are directed specifically to the ongoing needs of small counties within the State of Florida, and
WHEREAS, the cost of retaining such services is reduced through the collective participation of small counties within a consortium framework, and
WHEREAS, the Small County Coalition, a coalition of counties with populations less than 50,000 collectively retains legislative consulting services to work on behalf of small county issues.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners approves becoming a member of the Small County Coalition for FY93-94 and agrees to pay $998.40 for services through September 30, 1994.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk of Courts in Calhoun County shall be the fiscal agent and contracting agent for the retention and payment of consultant services and associated costs.
ADOPTED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners in session at Trenton, Florida on the 30th day of August, 1993.
/s/Jackie R. Barron,
Mr. Barron reminded the Board that they have no further workshops scheduled prior to the tentative budget hearing scheduled September 14th. Commissioner Sheffield stated he would like to review the budget before that date, especially the changes made today. Commissioner Cannon made a motion to recess this meeting and reconvene on September 2, 1993, at 5:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs, and unanimously approved.
FRED WILKERSON, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK