May 16, 2000
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a work session on May 16, 2000 in the County Administration Building.
Chairman Watts called the work session to order 6:37 p.m.
ACHS GIRLS 4A SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Chairman Watts has challenged the 3 counties competing against Alexander Central in the Girls 4A Softball Tournament Friday night in Raleigh to a winner-take-all bet. Alexander County has bet a bushel of apples, Mecklenburg County has bet a case of chocolate gold coins, New Hanover has bet a bucket of shrimp, and Lee County was unresponsive.
GENERAL FUND/FUND BALANCE
At the present time, the estimated revenues for the general fund stands at $21,602,855 which includes $1.2 million from the fund balance. With this total, only a 6 cent tax increase would be implemented.
Ken White, Finance Officer, discussed the totals for the estimated fund balance and general fund as of June 30, 2000. The estimated unreserved total designated for subsequent year expense is $1,258,223.00 and undesignated is $929,502.78. The estimated total reserved by State Statute is $1,728,228.40. The estimated fund balance as of June 30, 2000 is $3,915,954.18.
Rick French stated that the County will probably not be receiving the $450,000 no interest loan from Energy United due to legal interpretations by Energy United staff.
ALEXANDER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL BUDGET
The proposed budget for Alexander Community Hospital for 2000-2001 totals $8,152,008. This is a 4.04 percent decrease from the prior year budget. The budget income reflects an inpatient decrease of $1,320,892 and outpatient decrease of $2,062,858 indicating a takeover in-house of the Operating Room which shows an income of $1,699,766 for a total patient revenue in the amount of $8,907,036. In the budget are adjustments and uncollectables of $1,750,000 producing net patient revenue of $7,157,036. Miscellaneous income of $157,000 and Alexander County's commitment of secured indebtedness of $551,994 and commitment for unsecured debt of $285,978. Consultants Charles McGinnis and Marie Chapman are considered County employees at this time and are paid from the County general fund. The budgeted expenses for personnel reflects an increase of $143,815 over the previous year as a result of re-staffing the Operating Room and the inclusion of Billy McSwain, financial consultant fees. Part of this amount is off-set by the $134,561.68 for contract labor fees for Operating Room staffing and management paid to Catawba Memorial. The operational budget reflects a $1,569,858 decrease over the previous year as a placement in-house of the emergency room and the re-staffing of appropriate personnel. Reflected in the expense is a first time funding of depreciation in the amount of $365,685 to be designated for future capital improvement of equipment. Expenses for next year's capital improvement and replacement of obsolete equipment is $717,100.
Rick French stated that the County could not appropriate money to the hospital for unsecured debt. The County will have to appropriate the money for emergency services. Mr. French also stated that Mr. McGinnis had met with him on the morning of May 16, 2000 requesting a May payment of $70,000 to the hospital. Mr. French stated that he would like to see a monthly financial statement from the hospital before release of funds.
The estimated cost effects on the Emergency Medical Services and the County jail if the hospital were to close were discussed. The estimated cost in increased Emergency Medical Services would be anywhere from $500,000 to $800,000 including a purchase of at least one new ambulance and staffing. The County jail buys meals from the hospital for inmates. If the hospital closes, the cost for inmate meals is estimated to increase $50,000 per year. The Sheriff's Department would have to have more staff and vehicles to transport jail inmates as needed, an estimated cost of $100,000 per year. Commissioner Robertson proposed giving the hospital $250,000 or $300,000 to try to lower the tax increase and also lower the impact on the fund balance.
BUDGET PROPOSALS/REVENUES & EXPENDITURES
Rick French, County Manager, presented the Board with the 2000-2001 budget proposal. Mr. French stated that he had worked with the budget proposal for some time now, cutting expenses to lower the tax increase. So far, Mr. French has cut $2.1 million worth of requests from the department budget proposals. If the County were to fund everything requested, a 27.5 cent tax increase would be implemented. All of the following budgets include a 2.5% cost of living increase for employees. Mr. French also stated that 28 of the 37 department's budget totals were at or below the current budget totals. Mr. French stated that there were 22 new employees requested, he has cut all but 8 of those. Those that were not cut were 3 in Public Buildings/Maintenance to replace contracted services at no extra cost, 2 at Social Services that will generate more revenue than cost, 1 in transportation that will result in a decrease in contracted services, an increase in the Senior Center of 1 part-time employee to a full-time employee, and 1 Personnel Director (new position). There were several digital cameras requested which were denied. Commissioner Watts mentioned hiring a Purchasing Agent.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Health Department for 2000-2001 totals $1,994,585. The budget reflects a request for each area of the Health Department as listed:
All areas reflect an increase except for Health Promotion and Cancer Detection. The Health Department is funded by the County and the State. County funds appropriated equal 25.1 percent. Included in the budget proposal was a listing of proposed clinic fees for the Health Department. Commissioner Robertson stated that he would like to see a list of current clinic fees as well.
GOVERNING BODY BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Governing Body for 2000-2001 totals $161,548. This includes funding for a Commissioner's Retreat which will be held annually. Also included in the budget is a full-time Clerk to the Board position.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Administration Office for 2000-2001 totals $193,615. This budget is for 2 employees and also includes $18,500 for contract services.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Personnel Office for 2000-2001 totals $186,771. The Personnel Director position has not yet been filled. The new position is still under discussion.
BOARD OF ELECTIONS BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Board of Elections for 2000-2001 totals $113,941. This total reflects a 6 percent increase from the current budget year due to training for Board of Elections employees. Board of Elections has requested an additional employee to work 12 weeks per year to help during the time prior to and after an election. Capital outlay includes new voting booths.
FINANCE DEPARTMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Finance Department for 2000-2001 totals $228,058. Included in this total is $20,000 for professional services such as audit preparation. There are currently 4 employees in the Finance Department. Capital outlay includes new office equipment and computers.
TAX OFFICE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Tax Office for 2000-2001 totals $318,092. The Tax department has requested an additional employee to serve as Tax Clerk. Mr. French stated that this additional position is not recommended. Capital outlay includes 2 terminals for the front, office furniture, and carpet.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Information Technology Department for 2000-2001 totals $145,381. There are currently 2 employees in the IT Department. Capital outlay includes a Nortel Network Baystack 450 10/100mb switch, Sony digital camera, APC 650va UPS, wire organizer, Proxima projector, bookcase, and a cable tester.
REGISTER OF DEEDS BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Register of Deeds for 2000-2001 totals $239,869. There are currently 4 employees in the Register of Deeds office. Capital outlay includes a reader/printer $8,400 and a commercial computer $8,900. Commissioner Robertson recommended that the Register of Deeds wait until the next budget year to purchase these items. Projected revenues for 2000-2001 total $276,608.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Economic Development for 2000-2001 totals $33,570. Included in this total is $9,570 for Carolinas Partnership and $10,000 for advertisement.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS/MAINTENANCE BUDGET
The proposed budget for Alexander County Public Buildings/Maintenance for 2000-2001 totals $439,058. It is requested that 3 full-time custodians be hired for this budget year and a few part-time employees. Included in this total is $51,000 for the Courthouse Roof bid. Several additional employees have been requested as well as additional mowers for grounds maintenance. The Public Buildings/Maintenance is currently searching for buildings for additional office space. Capital outlay includes office equipment, computer equipment and upgrades, a new van and truck, maintenance repair equipment, and janitorial equipment.
SOLID WASTE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Solid Waste Department for 2000-2001 totals $739,869. Capital outlay includes a replacement for the Volvo front end loader trash truck, office and computer equipment, 6x14 trailer, mowers and weed eaters. Projected revenue for 2000-2001 total $689,704.
SOLID WASTE/LANDFILL BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Solid Waste/Landfill for 2000-2001 totals $1,007,519. Capital outlay includes a 14x46 mobile home which will be used for office space and restrooms, office and computer equipment, a septic tank, DOT certified scales, a tractor, and a sweeper.
SOLID WASTE/COLLECTION BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Solid Waste/Collection for 2000-2001 totals $1,501,134.
ANIMAL CONTROL BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Animal Control for 2000-2001 totals $80,571. The Animal Control Department has requested that several vacant positions be filled. Capital outlay includes new vehicles for Animal Control officers, a new Animal Shelter, computer equipment, cages, rifles and pistols, dart guns, and radios.
SHERIFF DEPARTMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Sheriff's Department for 2000-2001 totals $1,446,499. Capital outlay includes software, a repeator, an evidence safe, office furniture, new patrol car, vehicle radios, and a UC transmitter.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Jail for 2000-2001 totals $432,830. Capital outlay includes toilets, chairs, and software
COURT FACILITIES BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Court Facilities for 2000-2001 totals $46,500.
DAY REPORTING BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Day Reporting for 2000-2001 totals $74,882. The Day Reporting Office has requested to increase a part-time workers hours and increase the employee's pay $9,600. There is no capital outlay requested.
COMMUNITY BASED ALTERNATIVES BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Community Based Alternatives for 2000-2001 totals $108,452. Community Based Alternatives includes Family Violence Prevention Service and Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Emergency Management for 2000-2001 totals $74,962. The information regarding the radio frequencies through Wireless Communication was also included. Capital outlay includes a laptop computer, a digital camera, and program cable. Projected revenue for 2000-2001 totals $7,678.29 from the NC Division of EM for Program Paper grant and $1,000 from NC Division of EM for Hazardous Materials Mitigation.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Emergency Medical Service for 2000-2001 totals $1,165,240. The EMS has requested purchase of a new ambulance and a 12-Lead Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator with cellular transmission module.
FIRE SERVICE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Fire Service for 2000-2001 totals $65,459. There were no major increases in the Fire Service budget. The Fire Service office received a grant of $10,000 from the Office of State Fire Marshal for the Risk Watch program. Fire Service has requested a new employee. The position would be 50 percent Inspector/Educator for the Fire Service and 50 percent Code Enforcement Officer for Planning & Development. Capital outlay includes an inspector radio, a pager for the Fire Marshal, money for assistance with large fires and equipment, and a fill-in for the Fire Marshal when needed. The Fire Marshall is currently paid from County funds. Commissioner Bolick stated that the Fire Marshall should be paid from the County fire taxes. Projected revenues for 2000-2001 total $6,500.
911 COMMUNICATION BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County 911 Communication for 2000-2001 totals $184,170. This total has increased $9,000 from the current budget year. Fuel for vehicles greatly affected the total. There is no capital outlay requested.
FORESTRY SERVICE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Forestry Service for 2000-2001 totals $27,674. The proposed budget is a $6,660 decrease from the current budget year. The decrease is due to a salary adjustment which occurred with the retirement of Ranger Billy Meadows and promotion of Ranger Dennis Wahlers. The operating expenses will be approximately the same as the current year. There is no capital outlay requested.
INSPECTIONS/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Inspections Office and the Alexander County Planning & Development for 2000-2001 totals $454,654. Mr. French stated that he had combined the 2 budgets to save money. Planning & Zoning has requested compensation for the Planning & Zoning Commissioners in the amount of $25 per person per meeting. Capital outlay includes office furniture, computer equipment, a copier, a refrigerator, and 2 new vehicles; '00 Blazer 4WD and a '04 Ranger 4WD. Information was also provided regarding the Office Space Lease at the Wilkes National Bank Building which is 8,417 sq. feet as well as a proposed fee schedule. Projected revenues for 2000-2001 total $223,900.
SOIL & WATER BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Soil & Water Department for 2000-2001 totals $82,537. This budget is for 3 employees. There aren't any major increases in the proposed budget from the current budget year. Capital outlay includes computer upgrades, office furniture, a digital camera, a fax machine, a copy machine, a global positioning sensor, and an arc view.
MEDICAL EXAMINER BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Medical Examiner for 2000-2001 totals $17,575.
EXTENSION SERVICE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Extension Service for 2000-2001 totals $137,123. Capital outlay includes a digital camera, office furniture, and computer upgrades.
VETERANS SERVICE BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Veterans Service for 2000-2001 totals $39,938. Veterans Service has requested no capital outlay.
SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Department of Social Services for 2000-2001 totals $4,584,552. Social Services has requested 2 additional employees. The budget reflects a request for each area of the Department of Social Services as listed:
Capital outlay includes 2 Nortel Bay Stack, 11 workstations, data card equipment, and an imaging system. Projected revenues for 2000-2001 total $2,377,958. The Department of Social Services receives $994,863 from State Aid.
AGING TRANSPORTATION BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Aging Transportation Department for 2000-2001 totals $237,000. Included in this total is $28,845 for the purchase of new vans. The Transportation Department has also requested 1 new employee. Capital outlay includes a new van, uniform shirts, a small refrigerator, and 2 sets of jumper cables. Projected revenues for 2000-2001 total $127,624.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Parks & Recreation Department for 2000-2001 totals $300,457. Capital outlay includes repair to buildings and grounds at all county parks, lights at East Park, playground equipment, and a new vehicle. Projected revenue for 2000-2001 totals $68,987.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Public Library for 2000-2001 totals $518,444. The Library has recently received a grant for $108,049. Capital outlay includes a burglar alarm, new shelves, and a storage cube for children's room.
SENIOR CENTER BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Senior Center for 2000-2001 totals $121,401. The Senior Center has requested that a part-time employee be converted to a full-time employee. Capital outlay includes an island for the kitchen, backup systems for computers, and a folding screen for the multipurpose room. Projected revenue for 2000-2001 totals $68,987.
The proposed budget for the Alexander County CVCC Center for 2000-2001 totals $22,500. The County is in the process of moving the CVCC center into another building in the near future.
The proposed budget for Alexander County Water and Sewer is not available at this time.
BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET
The proposed budget for the Alexander County Board of Education for 2000-2001 totals $4,400,000. Capital outlays includes maintenance equipment; mowers, custodial equipment, computer lab replacements, vocational equipment, county-wide classroom furniture, central office equipment, new Ellendale, ACHS renovations and additions. The Board of Education is requesting a total of $5,106,097 from Alexander County.
There are several capital improvements and other funds included in the Alexander County budget which totals $2,828,123 Funding of these improvements will result in a 1/2 cent tax increase. Listed below are some of the capital improvements:
Alexander County will be dispersing special appropriations in the amount of $143,550. Some of the appropriations included are:
The proposed budget for contingencies for 2000-2001 totals $50,000.
Rick French stated that he had spoken to Dr. David Linzey regarding the new animal shelter. Mr. French encouraged Dr. Linzey to get in touch with several different architects before deciding on one. The Board requested that Chairman Watts and Commissioner Robertson, along with Manager Rick French meet with architects as well.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adjourn at 8:35 p.m. and reconvene in Closed Session. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
John F. Watts, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board