MINUTES OF A BUDGET WORKSHOP OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 16, 1994.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a budget workshop on August 16, 1994, 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, Cheryl Watson, and Carolyn Thomas, Deputy Clerks.
Mr. Barron presented the budgets to the Board and explained that the budget reflects the requests from various departments and elected officials as they were submitted to him. The bottom line for general revenue fund is that $55,896 of revenues are needed to fund the expenditures. In addition, there are no funds budgeted for cash carryover or reserve.
Mr. D. Ray Harrison, Property Appraiser, interrupted the budget workshop to speak to the Board on an issue referred to him by the Building Department. According to Mr. Harrison, in 1989 a mobile home was removed from a parcel of property. In 1991, a certificate of correction was issued to take the mobile home off the tax roll. The owner now wants to put the mobile home back on the property, and feels he should not have to pay the impact fee, since the mobile home was on the property in 1989, prior to the adoption of the impact fee ordinance. The well and septic tank are still in place. Mr. Burt stated that it is his opinion that the owner should pay the impact fee. Commissioner Sheffield commented that the ordinance should be revised to include a time limit for replacements.
Mr. Barron reviewed the budget for General Revenue with the Board. He noted that several transfers are going out of general to other funds (i.e. $100,000 to Transportation Trust, $3000 to Law Library, $13,500 to Fine & Forfeiture and $15,000 to State Attorney/Public Defender Trust Fund). He also noted that expenditures for the bailiff has been moved out of general to Fine & Forfeiture, in an effort to balance General Revenue Fund. Mr. Barron stated that he is concerned that operations may suffer if General Revenue Fund continues to be tapped by other funds.
Mr. Burt stated that he has received verbal estimates from Florida Power and Central Florida Electric for franchise fees. Franchise fees are unrestricted revenues which could be used in any fund for any purpose.
Supervisor of Elections
Ms. Susan Bryant, Supervisor of Elections, spoke to the Board about her budget request for fiscal year 1994-95. According to Ms. Bryant, the National Voter Registration Act has inflated her budget for the next fiscal year. Effective January 1995, a new registration system will be implemented, requiring new equipment, software, and registration forms. These changes will also increase the expenditure for postage. Ms. Bryant added that the pay for poll workers will not increase, however, she has budgeted a $600 pay increase for her two permanent staff. The total increase over this years budget is $11,539.00 or 9.49%.
Mr. Barron explained that Mr. Welch was unable to attend today's budget workshop, due to a prior commitment. He will be rescheduled to appear at another workshop. Mr. Barron added that Mr. Welch's budget request has an increase of $14,797 over this years budget.
D. Ray Harrison, Property Appraiser, spoke to the Board regarding his budget request for fiscal year 94-95. Due to the cost of visiting each parcel of property in the county, his budget request has increased. He added that he hopes this project will be completed by January 1995. Mr. Harrison stated that he will soon need to add another person to do field work because Mr. Leggett's time has been absorbed with follow up on building permits, however, he did not budget another position for next fiscal year. Mr. Harrison feels that more attention needs to be focused on agricultural properties; some may not truly be agricultural. Timber lands have been classified according to soil types and next year, crop lands will be classified by soil types. Timber land classifications have been added to the GIS system, and it is almost at its capacity. The system will need to be upgraded soon. Commissioner Sheffield stated that he would like to see a collections report for GIS services occasionally.
Jim Floyd, Sheriff, presented his budget request to the Board, stating that the only major change is that there is no longer any funding from the state for the School Resource Officer. He added that the School Board is willing to continue their funding for the position ($19,300). Sheriff Floyd informed the Board that his request includes a 7% pay increase for his staff.
Judge Philman submitted his budget request at the same level of funding as the current years. He indicated that he anticipates $1400 will not be used out of the current years budget.
North Central Florida Mental Health Services
Ms. Cheryl Smith appeared before the Board to submit her budget request. According to Ms. Smith, there is an increase of $840, or 4%, which is based upon population estimates.
Mr. Rehberg submitted budget requests for the Building, Zoning, Competency and Code Enforcement Departments. He explained that the only increase he budgeted was a 5% pay increase for his secretary. The total for the four budgets combined is $66,776.
Commissioner Bush departed the meeting at 1:53 p.m. and returned at 3:30 p.m.
County Extension Office
Marvin Weaver, County Agent, submitted his budget request to the Board, stating that the total increase over this years budget is $5740. This includes a 10% pay increase for himself and his secretary.
Danny Hales, Regional Library Director, spoke to the Board about the budget for the library, reminding the Board that approximately $20,000 from last years budget was carried over into this years budget. State aid for next fiscal year will be approximately $21,000. Salary increases were figured at 5%, and utilities were increase by $2400 in anticipation of the new building. Also, $1700 was added to the budget for janitorial services.
Guardian Ad Litem
Ms. Marianne Bennick and Mr. Ted McFetridge spoke to the Board about the budget for Guardian Ad Litem for next fiscal year. Expenditures for Guardian Ad Litem for Gilchrist County are approximately $3480. The total request is $10,000 which includes the Guardian Ad Litem program and other circuit court related expenses. A discussion followed with Mr. Barron advising Mr. McFetridge that many of the cost included in the $10,000 are for services that his office is required to provide to the court, and he is not in favor of the county absorbing more Article V costs.
Levy Association for Retarded Citizens
Ms. Betty Stockton, LARC Executive Director, submitted her budget request for fiscal year 94-95, for a total of $8000, which represents $1000 for each Gilchrist County clients. Ms. Stockton spoke about the services LARC provides to their clients and the community. Their total operating budget is $200,000. Many of their funds come from work the clients perform in refinishing furniture, and various fund raisers. Ms. Stockton invited the Board to visit their facility, which is open Monday thru Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Board recessed at 5:05 p.m. and reconvened at 7:05 p.m.
Clerk to Board of County Commissioners
Mr. Barron reviewed his budget request with the Board, indicating an increase of 19% Mr. Barron explained that the increase is to cover the cost of implementing the automated finance and purchase order system. So far, all the cost of implementing the system, including the fiber optic hook ups to all departments have been funded through his budget. A major portion of this cost will occur during the beginning of next fiscal year. Also, the cost of a part time (20 hours per week) computer consultant has been funded through his budget, and he anticipates this expenditure to continue. The services of the consultant also benefits other departments.
Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens
Ms. Janice Woods spoke to the Board regarding their budget request for fiscal year 94-95. The Council is requesting $10,000, an increase of $2500. According to Ms. Woods, referrals have increased by 50%. Improvements are being made at their Bell Meal site, where approximately 20 clients are served each day. In addition, Ms. Woods informed the Board that the Council anticipates grant funding to begin a health related services program at three sites. This program will offer basic health screening services with an RN, as well as a medicine management program. They also have an Altzeimers Support Group with approximately 18 people attending.
Mr. Barron reviewed with the Board an analysis, prepared by the Florida Counties Foundation, which lists the Boards revenue options. Those options are:
1. Levy additional ad valorem taxes within a municipal
service taxing unit.
2. Impose a special assessment for fire protection
3. Impose a special assessment for road construction,
paving and maintenance.
4. Adjust or impose user fees for county services and the
use of county facilities.
5. Redirect a portion of the currently imposed Original
Six Cents Gas Tax to other infrastructure purposes.
6. Adopt the additional ELMS Five Cents Gas Tax.
7. Enter into a standard franchise agreement with the
electric utility, grant a franchise and impose a
franchise fee by ordinance, or impose a utility
right-of-way fee by ordinance.
The Board discussed areas in general revenue fund which can be cut or reduced in order to balance the budget with a reserve. The Board asked Mr. Barron to advise the departments and elected officials to reduce their salary increases to 4% and resubmit for the Boards consideration.
Mr. Barron stated that he intends to transfer personnel administration to Mr. McQueen unless the Board has a problem with such an action. The Board members stated that they did not have a problem with Mr. McQueen administering the personnel policy.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Cannon made a motion to recess the workshop and reconvene at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, 1994. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs, and unanimously approved.
FRED WILKERSON, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK