The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a budget workshop on August 22, 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

Wilbur Bush

V. C. Cannon

Jimmie Sheffield

Other persons in attendance were: Jackie R. Barron, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell and Cheryl Watson, Deputy Clerks, Ron McQueen, County Coordinator, W. W. Welch, Tax Collector, Doug Crawford, Chamber of Commerce, Philip Chancey, Mills Engineering, Jim Troke, Industrial Development Authority, David Brittin, EMS Director, Jim Floyd and Jim Cooper, Gilchrist County Sheriff's Dept., Gerald Blackwell, John Russell, Jesse Arnold, and Harold Sanders, Bell Volunteer Fire Dept.

Mr. Barron reviewed the general revenue fund budget, which now reflects the changes recommended by the Board. The results of those changes have allowed $67,104 to be put in reserve. According to Mr. Barron, there are no funds available for cash forward, and the county may be in the position of having to borrow money next fiscal year to continue its level of current services. Mr. Barron added that he expects additional revenues to flow to the county as a result of new properties being identified by the Property Appraiser. Advalorem taxes from the gas pipe line should become available next fiscal year, and if the Board pursues franchise fees for next fiscal year, the need to borrow funds will be reduced or eliminated.

Tax Collector

Mr. Welch presented his budget request, which reflects an overall increase of 6.3% or $14,797. He stated that raises for his staff have been budgeted at 4%. Mr. Welch informed the Board that the School Board has indicated that they will not fund 40% of Edgar Langfords position, as in the past, even though the School Board benefits from the taxes collected.

Emergency Management/VA Services

Mr. Barron stated that both the Emergency Management and Veterans Services budgets have been overspent this current fiscal year. Both budgets have been projected at the same rate for next fiscal year, with a slight increase in Veterans Services.

Philip Chancey- Mills Engineering

Mr. Philip Chancey, Mills Engineering, spoke to the Board about the road work performed by HIPP Construction on CR 344. Mr. Chancey reported that the repair work did not conform with the Department of Transportation's specs, and he does not recommend paying HIPP at this time. Mr. Barron asked Mr. Chancey to identify the cost incurred by the county as a result of HIPP's substandard work (i.e. extra engineering, testing, etc.) Mr. Chancey added that HIPP was to contact him so that he could be available during the asphalt testing, and HIPP failed to do so. The Board agreed that they would withhold payment to HIPP in an amount equal to what they would have to pay to correct the road.

Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Doug Crawford appeared before the Board to submit a budget request for the Chamber of Commerce. This budget represents a 17% increase, or $1500, for capital improvements. The Chamber would like to do some repairs to their office. There are no other increases in this budget request.

Industrial Development Authority

Mr. Jim Troke submitted a budget request for the IDA, which reflects an increase of $1500 over last year. According to Mr. Troke, the increase is due the to their involvement with the film commission and work involved with the greenways project. Commissioner Sheffield suggested the IDA cut their request by $500 as the Board is unable to fund the entire requested increase. Commissioner Sheffield stated that he would like to see a quarterly activity report submitted by the Chamber and the IDA beginning in October.

Transportation Department

Mr. Barron stated that the recommended cuts by the Board have been made and two new positions were added back into the Transportation budget. The costs of these positions with fringes totals $27,518. This action will reduce that budgets reserve to $7000.

Bell Volunteer Fire Department

Mr. Gerald Blackwell spoke to the Board about the budget request for Bell's Volunteer Fire Department for fiscal year 94-95. They are requesting a total of $15,550. The reason for the increase, according to Mr. Blackwell, is to purchase some new equipment. The Board asked Mr. Blackwell what amount of funding does the Town of Bell contribute to the fire department. Mr. Blackwell stated that the Town of Bell is unable to fund fire expenditures, and the majority of their calls are outside of the municipal boundaries. Mr. Blackwell added that they responded to 40 calls so far this fiscal year. There followed discussion of funding between the Board and various persons in attendance. It has been the Board's policy to fund each department at $9000 per year, with one department receiving $12,500 on a rotating basis. The Board asked Mr. McQueen to check on the status of North Gilchrist Volunteer Fire Dept, and recommended that each fire department be funded at $9000, except for Spring Ridge, which will be funded at $12,500.

Sheriff Jim Floyd

Sheriff Floyd reported that he has made some cuts in his budget request, and the net result is a reduction in expenses of $45,473.

Emergency Medical Services

Mr. David Brittin, EMS Director, stated that he has increased his repairs and maintenance costs due to the mileage on the vehicles. He has submitted an application for grant funds to purchase a new vehicle. Revenues for EMS have increased by $55,000 due to the new special assessment tax roll. Mr. Barron suggests offering a $25 reduction on EMS bills for those who have paid their EMS assessment and use the EMS service.

The Board advised Mr. Barron to figure raises for all departments at $550 or 4%, whichever is greater. The Board set the next budget workshop for August 29, 1994 at 9:30 a.m.

Commissioner Cannon made a motion to adjourn at 5:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, and unanimously approved.