PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
April 8, 2010
LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Paul Mathews, Chair
#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
Chairman Paul Mathews called the meeting to order at 8:15. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.
Paul Mathews, Chair
Bill Lloyd, Vice Chair
Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 3-31-10 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Tommy and Bill led the Pledge of Allegiance.
#2-BUDGET FY 2010-2011
Dan McArthur reviewed the responses to the request for a 10% cut to services and supplies; there are several entities that didn’t respond. The Airport Fund was reduced for the year to get it to a zero fund balance. The administrative assessment fund for the JP’s was adjusted to come into an ending fund balance as well. Same with forensic services, Thompson Opera House, drug forfeiture fund, multispecies habitat fund, Recorder technology, multispecies Section 7 fund, Assessor technology, and Airport capital projects fund. Leslie will augment these budgets if any monies are brought in. Senior Nutrition made adjustments to their costs pursuant to the Board’s request but this fund is still negative by over $7,000. Dan will reduce this fund by $7,445 and they’ll have to live within the budget. Vehicle Capital Projects Fund was initially used to purchase Sheriff’s vehicles. The concern is how we can fund this. $20,000 is removed for Building Department/General County vehicle and the Spillman payment, $17,000, is moved to FIL. With these two items removed, this fund comes into a positive balance if the Board decides to take $90,000 out of County Capital Projects fund. The Sheriff has advised that the Air Force will stop paying money for patrolling the north boundary of the Test Site if the money isn’t used to purchase vehicles. The vehicles are replacements for current patrol cars that have over 150,000 miles on them. Planning Fund is negative by $58,000. Revenue is decreased to $21,000. Nuclear Waste will fund $75,000 this year. Leslie advised she will augment this fund at the end of this year. With these changes, the fund balance is negative about $53,000. To fully fund this, it would require an infusion of over $50,000. If Sithe Global gets the power plant up and running the County will receive even less money in taxes for a short period of time; we will get only 20% of what we are currently receiving due to the abatement. There is some discussion about how to continue funding the Building and Planning Departments, or to eliminate one or both. Some salary relief to the Planning Department could be coming through the Hazard Mitigation project. The grants department will suffer if either of these departments are cut because Phyllis uses them for aid with the grant projects. Ronda asked if the Detention Center will be flush enough to pay back the money they owe to the County. The Sheriff commented that they’ve already paid a great deal of that money back. The Board agreed that none of the money has been reimbursed to the Land Act Fund. Ronda reminded Kerry that the agreement was that the money would be paid back. Kerry responded by saying that they should start taking payments out to put the money back. Kerry further reminded the Board that a jail is statutorily required. Dan advised there is no money to take out of Detention Center. The only way there would be money is to eliminate the $59,000 for capital outlay. To keep the Planning and Building Departments whole the County will have to have $120,000. Paul asked how long the County should project supplementing these departments to this level. There are potential projects coming online, including Sithe Global, SWIPP corridor, and a solar project. Eventually these will generate income. Doug Carriger advised that it will be several years prior to anything being on the ground for their solar project. Once the project is over there may not be any continued development unless another PUD is filed. They aren’t looking at building housing tracts that would require regular employees. Doug suggested that it might be best handled by contractors hired to handle this. Doug doesn’t feel that their projects require continued support by any full time employees. Bill commented that many of these projects depend on how the economy proceeds; if it continues as is, we may never see any of them come to fruition. Paul commented that we have good people doing good work in their departments; we’d like to keep them there. The other alternative is to hire contractors as opposed to employees. There is some discussion about contracting out; would the contractors be paid for by the developer? It is something that the County would have to insist on. Paul would like to find a source to fund the Planning Department for one year to see if future growth actually happens to create more revenue. If the appropriations fall through, the Board will be forced to address rearranging or eliminating these departments as they can’t sustain themselves. Dylan Frehner suggested that any other entities that use the Planning Department can be charged for using the department, namely the LC Water District. Phyllis said she doesn’t know why we aren’t charging all non-County entities for services rendered by the County, including the bookkeeping done by the Recorder’s office. Melanie suggested that we bill Norcal for the Treasurer doing their billing. Paul asked that Dawne come up with billable hours for County, Caliente, LCWD, etc. Dawne suggested that 10% be cut from Staff GIS training, Database Administration, and GIS applications if this will aid with saving jobs. This would result in about a $2,000 savings. Phyllis believes the ending cash balance will be higher for FIL. Grant Match account is decreased by $20,000 in FIL. Leslie asked if $30,000 is included in Information Technology for the new AS400 we absolutely have to purchase. Yes, Dan responded, it’s in there as well as funding for websites for Treasurer, Assessor and Recorder. Solid waste has a transfer out of $85,988 that will be coupled with payments to the public that will be used to make the payment to Norcal (Recology). $222,000 will now be collected from the citizens to make the payment as the cost increased by 6% again. There is some discussion about including the solid waste fees on tax bills. No decision is made. General Fund has an ending fund balance of $618,000. The General Fund profit/loss is $425,000 loss for the year. The County can fund this through the end of 2011, but when we move into the following year property taxes will not increase enough to cover it, nor will sales tax. This puts the County in the position of making a decision now or a year from now. The ending fund balance is higher this year than anticipated due to the hard work of departments to exercise cost savings. There is some discussion about the 3% salary increases included in submitted budgets. The County may have to split it and offer a 1.5% increase. Minimum wage is increasing from $7.25 to $8.25. Dan commented that statutorily the County has to have 4% of expenditures ending fund balance. The County must have $173,000 for ending fund balance. Dan understands that anything under 8.3% of expenditures can’t be available for use in salary increase; right now the County can’t even meet the 4% requirement. If there are continued salary increases they can’t be funded through this fund; money will have to come from somewhere else. Statewide revenue reductions are 15% and the County’s reductions are only about 8%. Dan commented that the approach to look at two years is really important; he doesn’t see things getting better within the next two years. Some departments put in a 3-4% increase for non-contract employees and some didn’t include anything. The Board agreed to work at staying status quo with salaries since CPI is 0%. There is some discussion about creating a salary schedule with steps. Melanie commented that people are being hired at the top of the pay scale while there are others that start at the bottom and have to work for years and years through steps, etc., to reach the same pay as someone who is being hired at the top of the scale by the County, receiving training through the County, and the County is funding the training. There are some individuals whose salary will increase based on increased minimum wage. Next year, something will have to be done to address Planning and Building; if things don’t improve, the departments will have to be combined or eliminated. Paul commented that the Board needs to look at making the cuts or layoffs. The longer the Board extends this and doesn’t deal with it, it costs more. Paul doesn’t want to let things build into a crisis because it will result in having to lay off even more people. It’s either a little now, or a lot more later. Paul asked if the County would like to approach the LCWD about transferring funds into General County based on revenues they are receiving. The money LCWD is receiving is one time money coming in and it’s tied up by an ordinance. The requested cuts are not included in today’s budget entirely. There is some discussion about the Road Department and FEMA payback. There is a possibility we will have to pay over $190,000. It becomes a questions of what determination FEMA makes and then the County can fight it. $85,000 can be paid out of this year’s budget if we are very conservative and don’t do any oil/gravel projects. Salaries to Services/Supplies is out of balance. It can be corrected over time through how the County hires and rehires for those that retire. No decisions are made at this time with respect to County funds. Tentative budget stands as is. Capital Outlay and IT requests are reviewed. There is some discussion about what account monies will be reimbursed to when signs are made for streets, etc. The Board agreed that the money should go to Road Department. Wendy Rudder advised that Clint told her that signs wouldn’t be done in time for the Census and Alamo Town has approved the ordering of them. The Board instructed Wendy not to order signs since the Census has been completed it will cost a great deal less for Alamo to purchase them from the Road Department. Wendy said it isn’t any cheaper for them to go through the County to get the signs. Alamo Town has a dead truck that can no longer be repaired. AT’s maintenance man is using his own truck. Something needs to be done as they are in dire need of a vehicle.
Paul leaves the meeting at this time and the Chair is turned over to Bill.
Southeast Lincoln County Habitat Conservation District is reviewed. This fund doesn’t generate money right now, but it will once the HCP is in place. Caliente and UPRR will pay for take. The funding at that point will be turned around and willow flycatcher banks will be created in order to allow Caliente to work on flood control. A committee will be formed and they will have to work with Fish & Wildlife and BLM to look at mitigation banks in the Meadow Valley Wash. Services and supplies is $109,510, including a computer. If UPRR funds come in Leslie can augment this budget. Tommy made a motion to approve the tentative SLCHCD budget; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. There is some discussion as to whether or not the Board can approve this since an agenda wasn’t posted for this GID. The tentative is due by the 15th. Daniel H. advised that the Board can approve this today as it meets the emergency exception. Panaca Town expenses will have to be cut as they simply don’t have the money for pavers and street lights ($25,000). The $25,000 budgeted for capital outlay is decreased to $7,915 in order to make it balance. $6,000 is requested for capital projects, but there is no money. In order to make this work it will be decreased to $3,845. Pioche Town has the same problem as Panaca. Capital Projects, Fund 56, is budgeted to spend $40,736 and they have $37,000 that will carryover into next year. Pioche Town also has a grant match fund and Phyllis commented that this fund should be used as a match for any capital projects grants. Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) wanted 100% of their funds budgeted. LC Transportation line item is increased to $40,000. Ending fund balance will be $0. NRS says you can’t budget for forfeitures; when the money comes in Leslie will augment. Tommy made a motion to approve the tentative budget with the adjustments as discussed today; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Paul called for public comment. None is offered.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Tommy made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:42 a.m.; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.