MINUTES OF A BUDGET WORKSHOP OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 7, 1997.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a budget workshop, on August 7, 1997, at 5:00 p.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Sue B. Suggs, Chair
Other persons in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerk, and David Turner, Sheriff.
Mr. Gilliam announced that the proposed budget for the general revenue fund for fiscal year 97-98 is out of balance by approximately $52,000 and the transportation trust fund is out of balance by approximately $152,000. Mr. Gilliam reviewed various accounts where reductions were made to net the above results.
Sheriff Turner spoke to the Board about his budget requests. The communications operations (911) have been put in a separate budget. He has prepared a five year plan which would gradually increase his employee's salaries and stated that the amount of the requested raises in his budget is 7%. The Board advised Sheriff Turner that they are considering 3% or $1000, whichever is greater. Commissioner Durden advised Sheriff Turner that he is not willing to fund the School Resource officer's position if the School Board withdraws their funding. The position benefits the schools and Commissioner Durden feels it would be more appropriate for the School Board to provide funding. The other Board members indicated their agreement with Commissioner Durden's statements. Mr. Gilliam stated that the overall increase in the Sheriff's budget, not including LETF or grants is $187,570. Of that amount $134,000 is salaries and $45,000 is for the purchase of two new vehicles. The Board agreed to cut the Sheriff's budget request by two new positions and the two new vehicles. Sheriff Turner pointed out to the Board that he has budgeted catastrophic inmate healthcare coverage for the next fiscal year.
Mr. Gilliam stated that his budget request does not include any new positions and the total overall increase is 2.5%. This increase represents raises for his staff at the level tentatively approved by the Board and a slight increase in machinery and equipment.
Commissioner Durden led a discussion regarding impact fees in the municipalities. It is his opinion that the cities should impose an impact fee, of which a portion would be retained by the cities and a portion remitted to the county, to offset the cost to the county for road work provided within the city limits. The Board agreed that research should be done to determine the dollar benefit each city receives, from work and services provided by the county.
Commissioner Bush stated that he spoke to Mr. Downing about his budget request and according to Mr. Downing, they are trying to become active again. They are requesting $2745, however, they were budgeted at $2000 last year and did not spend the entire amount. Mr. Gilliam stated that he recently attended a meeting with Mr. Downing in Bronson and they discussed the feasibility of establishing a clerical position to support the three counties. Dixie County indicated that they did not have the funds to support such a position. The Board agreed to reduce their budget request to $2000.
Tourism Task Force:
The Board cut $1000 for the support of the Tourism Task Force. We currently do not have a representative on the Task Force and therefore are not receiving benefit from the program.
Chamber of Commerce & IDA:
The Board discussed the Chamber of Commerce and IDA's funding requests and activities. The Board agreed to cut both budget requests back to the current level of funding, which is $7500. Several board members expressed concern about not seeing any results from the IDA and questioned whether or not it would be necessary to continue funding the organization.
The Board discussed the possibility of selling the tower and building north of Bell, currently used for storage. Mr. Gilliam reported that the outstanding balance on the loan is $24,000 and the payments are $6000 per year. The Board agreed they would be interested in selling the tower and building.
The Board briefly discussed the Property Appraiser's budget request for next fiscal year. Included in the request is funding for a new position and an increase in his reserve of approximately $5000.
The Board advised Mr. Gilliam that they would like to discuss the budget requests submitted by the Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, and Supervisor of Elections, at the next budget workshop, scheduled for August 14, 1997.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Sheffield, seconded by Commissioner Durden, and unanimously approved.
SUE B. SUGGS, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK