PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
March 23, 2009
#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Board met in special session with Chairman Paul Mathews calling the meeting to order at 9:02. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll with Commissioners Tommy Rowe, Ronda Hornbeck, Paul Mathews, Ed Higbee and Bill Lloyd being present. There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 3-17-09 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ronda and Bill led the Pledge of Allegiance. County Manager John Lovelady and District Attorney Greg Barlow are present as well.
#2-FY 2009-2010 BUDGET
Dan McArthur is present for this item. Dan believes the current budget situation includes $700,000 worth of issues/deficit. Right now, the General Fund is showing a negative fund balance of $53,000. PERS rate for police/fire has increased to 37%. Dan is concerned about the property tax number as it has increased from last year, going from $1.6 million to $1.8 million; there hasn’t been any significant new property in the county and Dan isn’t sure if this is a legitimate number. Revenue sources are fairly stagnant, having only increased by 7% for the last three years, while expenditures are up 20% over the last three years. 2009 projected expenses are $4.2 million.
Sheriff budget is now discussed. Benefits are up based on the raise in PERS. The only “wiggle room” could come from reduction in staff or reduction in services/supplies. There is some discussion concerning fuel costs. Last year, Kerry added about $5,000 to fuel costs, which costs were very high until December 2008. There is only $10,000 left in this year’s budget for vehicle fuel. Caliente and the School District are still buying fuel for some of the SO cars. This budget year is going to be extremely difficult as the only option for increased revenues is through property taxes, which are about 40% of the county’s budget. Vehicle fuel and postage have increased drastically. Kerry advised that the reason that his postage is so high is due to the mailing of the jury summons. Dan advised that he’s never seen PERS this high. Retirement for SO budget is $280,000. Overtime is staying about $35,000 per year. Projected budget for the Sheriff has increased by $100,000 over last year, or 8%. Kerry stated that he is over budget on communications based on repairs to dispatch and repeaters that wasn’t covered under existing agreements. The increases are stemming from uncontrollable areas. One position at the SO is worth approximately $69,000 (this is one of the lower positions) and there is some discussion that cutting labor is the only way to reduce budgets. Actual cost for 2007 supplies was $116,000 and there is some talk about the possibility of getting back to that number. Kerry stated that he is considering trying to apply for a grant that could cover an employee’s salary. Ronda asked if the SO would be willing to not take the pay increases that they’ve asked for in lieu of not laying someone off; this would have to be addressed under negotiations. A 3% cut to the budget would take SO budget back to last year’s figures and would provide about $35,000. Dan suggested that the option of not taking salary increases in order to spare someone being laid off is something that should be considered. Kerry is to make an effort to cut his budget back by 5% at the very least and try to get back to 2007 level funding if possible. Dan said that he would prefer to have people offer to live with their 2007 wages as opposed to laying someone off. Cash flow will be impacted as revenues will most likely be down. Consolidated tax has decreased. Property tax is the only option.
Detention Center is now reviewed. Services/supplies is $90,000 more than it was in 2008. Kerry advised that vehicle insurance went up to $20,000. Kerry advised that they have been keeping about 90 contract inmates as opposed to the 72 inmates that were budgeted for. Clark County has told LC that we will be the last contract that they’ll cut; they’ll cut every single other contract before ours. CC is happy with the contract and the services that they’re getting and the rate per day for the inmates has stayed at $70 per day. Just over $2.1 million is the amount for 85 inmates. Vehicle fuel increased, vehicle maintenance increased, detention facility increased, and the insurance increased; every other line item from last year stayed the same. Dan said that with the added inmates this fund will take care of itself. Kerry advised that the jail will be affected if he is being asked to approach the employees about not taking their salary increases. There is a capital outlay request of $123,000. Kerry advised that dispatch is included in the DC. Dispatch is now a union, too. Dispatch was awarded an allowance for uniforms and Kerry didn’t figure this in; there are 5 dispatchers. John said that dispatchers have asked to reopen negotiations. Kerry stated that dispatch is a county-wide function and he disagrees with it being funded through DC. At the end of the day, DC is a money maker for the county. There is still about $2,000 worth of uniforms that needs to be added into DC as well as an additional $10,000 for insurance. Kerry was asked to prioritize his capital outlay requests. Capital outlay priorities are:
- sump pump,
- intercom system,
- chip seal,
- expansion of IT room
SERT Equipment is eliminated, $10,000, as is computer equipment, $7,800. Medical equipment can be taken out of medical supplies for inmates. Kerry advised that he either needs to buy connex boxes or remove a wall in the IT room so that it can be expanded. A 10X12 expansion of the IT room is needed as there isn’t enough room to store equipment, files, supplies and evidence.
Lockers are not needed, Kerry said; he can live without them. Kerry believes that the restraint chair might be purchased through services supplies. Kerry eliminated the pressure washer. Transport vehicle is eliminated. Gasoline and overtime expenses would decrease if the circuit TV was in place. Two additional cameras for cell sections are needed, $1,200. This brings the capital outlay expense to $49,200. This includes: jail intercom system ($30,000), sump pump ($10,000), connex boxes ($8,000), and two additional cameras ($1,200). Kerry is extremely concerned about getting the electrical issues straightened out in the dispatch room and cited that this is a county issue, not DC. Kerry has Gust Electric submitting bids. When the circuits go, it shuts the entire room down. Kerry doesn’t believe it will cost that much to add a couple of circuits to the room. Kerry reiterated that dispatch is a county wide function; it is fire/EMS as well.
Vehicle Capital Fund is discussed. $105,000 is coming from General Fund into this fund. The DC van has been moved to the DC budget. Currently, software for Sheriff vehicles, Durangos for Sheriff, van for Senior Program, Assessor vehicle and Expedition for Sheriff are being covered under this fund. $85,000 from Air Force has come into this fund to pay for the Sheriff’s vehicles; the county doesn’t pay for them. $95,000 is the amount put into this fund to cover the vehicle payments. This fund will be $20,000 short as Kerry advised that light bars still have to be purchased. One Sheriff’s vehicle is cut and the fund remains at $105,000. Kerry advised that since the fifth vehicle has been cut he will look for a grant to cover it and proceed with the purchase of four cars. With the reduction of one vehicle, it changes new vehicles to $40,000 and up fitting to $20,000. Kerry will be taking one of the vehicles in his fleet that has 100,000 miles on it or more and selling it to Emergency Management. Phyllis believes that she can get a grant that will pay for the vehicle even though it has over 100,000 miles. As budgeted, this fund will cover four SO vehicles. When Kerry sells the older vehicles he will use the money to pay for light bars.
Planning is reviewed. John advised that the projected ending fund balance for Planning is $45,000. $77,500 is the amount that Clint is requesting for services/supplies. This is a $30,000 increase over last year’s request. Clint advised that GIS has, in the past, come from various departments/funds. Clint wanted to gather all of these expenses in to one fund. Clint anticipates that the increase in fees will create revenue and there are several projects that are anticipated for this upcoming year, but there is no way to know for certain when or if they’ll happen. Clint lowered the anticipated revenue for 2009-2010 to $30,000. The GIS position might be funded by nuclear oversight monies. Clint identified potential projects this year as he wanted the Board to be aware that there is a need to complete them. Clint budgeted for $10,000 for Mark White for legal guidance on land projects. A Solid Waste plan needs to be done, and Clint budgeted $10,000 for match money to get a grant and complete this. Clint stated that his department salaries didn’t increase.
Capital outlay is vetted. $5,000 is removed for Recorder’s 2 Dell computers, which will be purchased 2010-2011. $11,600 is added for County Auditor updates for ADS. $19,000 is removed for purchase of a back up generator. HVAC system, window replacement, and roof repair for LC Courthouse are part of an application for stimulus funding for the courthouse. $280,000 is the amount that was included in the stimulus requests. Ronda addressed the Juvenile Probation Officer, Laura Johnson, and stated that Laura is due for a step increase that falls in line with the Sheriff’s officer employees. Ronda reminded everyone that if the SO employees choose to not take their salary increases in order to preserve positions then it will need to be applied to Laura’s position as well; she would have to stay status quo also. Melanie reviewed the $11,000 for the commercial program, which is another ADS program. Melanie advised that the residential estimator is in ADS and is saved continuously. Every year when they reappraise, whoever appraised the commercial has to manually add it back into the computer. This program would
eliminate repetitive tasks and would automatically update each individual computer in her office. Melanie said that this program is needed for them to do their job so that they don’t have to completely redo it every five years. The purchase of this program would eliminate the annual purchase of Marshall & Swift. Melanie advised that she has enough money in her tech fund to purchase the program. The Board felt that this is a great idea, purchasing the program from the tech fund. Dan stated that Melanie can purchase the program this year at her discretion. $11,000 for the commercial program is eliminated.
Assessor budget is examined. Assessor’s requests have increased from $255,729 to $299,616. Salaries have increased by $32,000 over last year based on the increase in hours for the deputies. Melanie advised that her deputies are certified appraisers, who do a different job duty than most of the clerical. Gary Mauger has advised Melanie that these girls qualify for a higher
wage. Melanie has an issue with classification; if classification is put in place then all of the non-contract people will receive wages comparable to the clerical unit without having to pay union dues. Ronda asked if the deputies would be willing to stay where they are in their salaries as opposed to losing a position. Melanie asked that the Board members look at the positions that are newly hired or were part time positions made full time. Melanie cited that her office is busy nonstop. Melanie stated that she lets her girls leave early at the end of the day as they don’t take their 20 minute contractual breaks. Melanie asked that the Board look at all of the positions in the courthouse. Giving the deputy Assessors a raise is not reclassification. Melanie believes that a real property appraiser deserves $2.00 more per hour and will not conflict with the contract. Melanie stated that her girls are already thinking about doing a lateral switch on positions where they can sit and crochet; they are very busy in the Assessor’s office. Services/supplies decreased this year.
The Board returns to discussions regarding capital outlay. $20,000 is included for up fitting vehicles under Sheriff’s requests. Emergency Manager vehicle is removed, $7,000. Tracy Lee is present to discuss the IT items. Tracy discussed the development of the web site that he, Leslie, Clint and Gnomon are working on. Tracy advised that the Technical/E911 services include database services, and Tracy described in detail how this service works. The county isn’t purchasing any equipment. Tracy stated that this is being sold as “software as a service”. This $86,400 is an agreement for the E911 service. Tracy reminded John that his contract expires this year. John advised that he has met with Tracy and decided that this contract needs to be put out for RFP. Tracy said that he is looking at the best way to mitigate county costs. With the current contract, there is no time limit and there are no extra expenses if he gets called in after hours. Tracy said that whatever the Board wants in the IT contract needs to be put in the RFP. Tracy can connect remotely to the PCs in the courthouse but there are certain things that have to be done on site, including working on the server. Tracy estimates that it will cost the county $86,400 by putting the IT contract out for RFP; the Board would then have to respond. Paul asked why John decided that this needs to go out to RFP. Tracy said that the county wants competitive bids. The 911 contract is up June 30 and the other contract expires mid August. “Data connectivity” is the DSL connections that the county pays for. Tracy advised that if the county doesn’t have Spillman, then the Sheriff can’t run the DC; it is necessary in order to have the inmates. There is some discussion about the possibility of transferring half of the expenses for Spillman service, $80,000, to Detention Center budget. Spillman has the inmate management tools. Ronda asked Tracy if this project could be phased; one server purchased this year, one the next. Yes, but the county must make certain that this doesn’t fall through; the second one has to be purchased after the first. Many times the warranty on equipment is voided if you install something yourself. If their company installs it, the warranty remains. Ronda said that the IT items need to be left in DC budget so that all costs are accounted for. Tracy indicated that fire services will be added to Spillman in the future. Spillman is record keeping software. Service costs for the old Spillman are twenty times more than they would be on a newer piece of equipment. Tracy indicated that the purchase of the servers could be phased. Ronda cited that the costs could be split. Ronda asked what the risk component would be if only one server was purchased this year and two, three years down the road another server was purchased. Tracy said that they are trying to eliminate the single point of failure. One server has been used for the last five years. If purchased in phases and Tracy did it this year, he would wait until May of next year to buy the first. Then, on July 1st he would buy the second server. There is no backup server at this time as it was just too expensive. Tracy commented that the best way to discuss the Spillman server is to have the Sheriff here.
Meadow Valley Justice Court is discussed and Mike Cowley is present. MV budget has decreased by approximately $2,000. Mike indicated that his court costs are up; one of the reasons is based on conflict counsel. Postage has increased as they’ve instituted a collection process. For the month of January net money recouped on warrants was $4,150. Mike included a 3% increase for his salary, or $800 per year. Ronda advised that the board is still required to cut about $700,000 from their budget. Ronda said that they might be asking departments to make cuts, including in salaries. John cited that the District Court Judges have advised that the air conditioning in the courtroom needs to be repaired. Court facilities fees could be used for this. Lisa indicated that the District Court would like to have connectivity to the JAVS system to do playback for the jury; she estimates that it will cost $2,000, but she hasn’t heard back from JAVS yet. Library check out system is removed, $25,000.
Road is asking for three vehicles, but they are short $29,000 and don’t have the money to cover all three. Ronda asked why Road is purchasing vehicles outright as opposed to leasing. Leslie stated that if Road leases they need to do the mid-term financing. Paul said that if we are in a budget crisis this probably isn’t the time to be purchasing new vehicles. Dan said that money can be moved from Road Fund to Road Capital Projects fund if the Board wants to let the buy the three trucks. There is continued discussion about why the Roads purchases their vehicles as opposed to leasing. Steve Chouquer indicated that they don’t lease them as the vehicles get beat up too badly to retain value. Ronda said that they can lease them and then purchase the trucks for $1 at the end of the three years. Steve said that they don’t mind cutting back to two new vehicles. For future, lease purchase makes more sense in the years where the county is short on funding. Roads doesn’t intend to purchase more blades. There are no concerns with this fund unless Roads decided to hire new people; there isn’t funding for that. Bill said that Roads don’t intend to fill John Cole’s vacant position.
Federal In Lieu Fund is now discussed. Dan reviewed the ordinance depicting how the monies can be used. $140,000 is put in grant match. $65,988 will be transferred into Solid Waste. LC received full PILT funding, including the year 2009, which puts PILT fund balance to $720,000. Ordinance No. 2003-03 is discussed. This will be fully funded for two years and then will most likely drop back down. Dan said that if this money is used this year and then drops, the reduction in forces in future years will be much greater. The Capital Outlay requests are one of the big concerns of this budget as they put the fund in the red $150,000. The ordinance says that all projects will be identified and have a plan. Emergency expenditures only include natural disasters and can only be used if the county has made a disaster declaration. It also says that the projects that are funded with these monies, upon conclusion and expenditure of money, a report must be presented to the Auditor, who then has to issue a statement as to whether or not the funds were spent appropriately. Ronda said these monies must be used wisely. Dan suggested that money can be taken out of the LC Land Act Planning Fund, 93, to help fund Planning Fund. This is not a fund that will be replenished; eventually it will be depleted. Right now there is $417,000 in this fund. Paul said that he doesn’t mind spending more of this money than just the interest amount, but it must be project driven. Under Planning, Community Needs Assessment is reduced to $10,000 and then moved to PILT Grant Match. Solid Waste Plan sets policy for tipping fees, implementation of a new landfill site, make certain that LC is in compliance with state laws for landfills. Clint said that if this is done right it would be a way out of the current mess that we have with Norcal. This plan is the legal foundation for action to be taken on the ground, including negotiation of contracts, said Clint. $10,000 is moved to PILT for Solid Waste Plan. This plan could get the Delamar site up as well. Staffing plan is removed, $10,000. There is some discussion about the developers paying for another person to work in Clint’s office. Clint will be requesting the Board members to sign a letter to the developers to move forward with payment of the staffing plan and a position; BLT is responsible for the staffing plan. Dan suggested that some of the interest could be pulled out of the LC Water Planning/Development Funds, 86 and 87. $280,000 is reduced to $20,000 in Capital Improvements, Pioche
Building & Grounds. $25,000 is removed from Fund 8.
Lisa advised that there are two different bills in Legislature proposing to move the Primary Election. One of them will move it to the Tuesday after Labor Day and the other will move the Primary to June. If the June date passes, additional money will have to be put into Lisa’s budget to cover the elections. $204,000 is the total savings so far. At this point, Dan believes that the Board is looking for $300,000. Changes to Planning, for revenues negative $12,000, but nuclear waste funds of $75,000 will be added and there is a change of $37,000 in ending fund balance. This means that the county can give them $96,000, which is a $100,000 savings; this is all predicated upon the nuclear waste funds. The Board has cut $504,000 so far. Dan addressed the Assessor’s budget and request for increase. John cited the fact that the clerical union bargained for no salary increase this year, just the eight hour days. If the Deputy Assessor’s still want to be union then they have to adhere to the contract. This could be a savings of $35,000 if the 5% increase isn’t given. Leslie cited that there will be classifications listed in the personnel policy. John said that if an elected official designates a person as their chief deputy they will not longer fall under the clerical contract; they’ll be pulled out and fall under the personnel policy. $35,100 is the amount removed from the Assessor’s budget under salaries based on the two 5% increases Melanie included in her budget for her deputies. Ronda said that the issue right now is that the two deputies are still part of the bargaining unit; they continue to be subject to the terms that were bargained for. If another step is given, then the deputies will have to be taken out of the union. Legally, the Commissioners are bound by law to pay the deputies according to the contract that is in place. District Attorney’s services and supplies is reduced to $18,350, which is a savings of $22,000. There is approximately $3,000-5,000 savings in salaries since the DA’s secretary is retiring April 30th and will be replaced. $17,550 is the total amount of savings removed from the DA’s budget, total comes from services/supplies and salaries. $2,600 is removed from the Deputy DA’s requested increase; this is a 3% increase. This brings the total reduction to $20,150 for the DA’s budget.
The Commissioners’ budget is addressed. Benefits are decreased by $19,774, which means $47,536 is the amount left in benefits.
Executive Officer is addressed by Phyllis Robistow. Phyllis advised that the Stimulus monies will bring a much increased workload. If the Board was to cut back, it would most likely be Sequoyah Shears. Phyllis said that she could use Sequoyah in her office; if given permission, Phyllis has grants that will cover moving Sequoyah to her office part time. $26,404 will be removed from Executive Officer for salary/benefits. Denice Brown is due for a 5% step increase. Communications would fit under special projects funds per discussion. Ronda suggested that Communications be paid for through this fund in the current FY, if the monies were budgeted. Dan stated that the county really should pay for communications with reoccurring money. No decision is made on the payment of Communications and it is left to be decided upon later. Dan discussed the Airforce money. Dan suggested that the amount for vehicle capital projects be left at $85,000 and the difference would be funded by In Lieu. This will save the general fund $20,000. Assessor vehicle will be funded out of capital projects. Cuts of $628,028 have been made so far today.
Flood Control District used $7,450 for FY 2009-2010 from the $8,000 that was budgeted. Quad State, Western Counties Alliance and NACO memberships need to be budgeted.
Ag Extension is addressed now. Salaries and wages are reduced to $13,325 and benefits are reduced to $1,600. Dan suggested that the Board has the option to pick up some of the property revenues from Museum. Ronda cited that if the museum board is the one that will be running the Thompson Opera House they will need all of the extra money they can get. Phyllis said the original intention was to have the museum board run the Thompson since they do the Million Dollar Courthouse. $9,375 is the amount that will be removed from Sheriff’s services/supplies, or 5%. PERS, benefits, salary, uniform allowance and several other things are attributed to Evan Schimbeck’s position, which is fully funded by BLM said Phyllis; $89,049 is the amount removed from the Sheriff’s budget (salaries/benefits) for Evan’s position. $717,077 is total savings so far.
The Board returns to discussion about the Spillman servers for the SO. Clint said that he just bought four 1 terabyte units for storage and they cost about $100 each.
There is no public comment.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ronda made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:24; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.