PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
February 25, 2013
LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
Chairman Ed Higbee turned the leading of the meeting over to Paul M. as he is the Commissioner responsible for financial matters. Paul M. called the meeting to order at 8:10 a.m. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.
Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 2-14-13. Adam offered the Invocation and Kevin led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Paul M. called for public comment. None offered.
#3-FY 2013-2014 BUDGET
Dan McArthur reviewed the preliminary budget requests and projections. Property taxes have increased by more than $420,000. Daniel asked if the reduction granted by Board of Equalization for Alamo Town was included in the projections. Yes. The increase is attributed to the power line that’s coming through. Countywide, there is a 22% increase in assessed valuation. Assessor Melanie McBride advised that centrally assessed might suffer from the abatements. Melanie said that the abatement might reduce the centrally assessed increase by nearly 50%. Dan will change the numbers in the budget to reflect this and include a $200,000 increase as opposed to $420,000. Employee benefits and salaries are about 76% of the preliminary budget. There are some funds that have negative balances; flood control, airport, medical county indigent, fair board, and planning. Significant work is required on the Mathews Drop Structure, so funding for flood control will need to be budgeted. Cory commented that they can merge Planning/Building funds again if it’ll make things easier. Dan discussed the Solid Waste Fund. The audit report for last year included an audit violation for the Solid Waste Fund. Charges for services need to be increased and revenues may be lower than projected. The Board will need to decide how to fund Solid Waste. Transfers into this fund must be increased by $30,000, for a total of $80,000. Dan will work with Shawn and Leslie to see what the collections have netted. Alamo Town requested that their property taxes be increased to the maximum amount allowed. Department of Taxation believes that revenues will increase to $49,000, but Dan wasn’t certain about this as it seems high. The fund balance will continue to decrease, and actually go negative within the next year, unless the property tax increase happens. The last couple of years have seen budget violations in the Alamo Town fund. The Board can deny Alamo Town’s request if so desired. There was an overall 20% decrease for this year’s assessment, but it stays just about the same as last year. The tax increase will be driven by the rate increase that Alamo Town has requested. If the Board decides not to grant the increase, then Alamo Town will have to make some budget cuts. The parks are the reason for the increase in expenses. Kevin stated the Alamo people deserve to know that the new parks cost in maintenance. Daniel commented that they tried to do a special district for the parks but it was denied so it’ll have to be covered by the taxes. Panaca Town is basically in the same position as Alamo Town. Panaca brings in about $45,000 per year in revenue but they’re spending more than that. These expenditures are eroding their fund balance. This fund will be negative by about $2,500. Salaries and wages within this budget can be looked at. Pioche Town is also headed in the same direction as Alamo and Panaca. Total revenues are $94,066. Expenses are $149,820. This takes the fund balance down to $1,147. There is a $20,000 increase in salaries/wages for highways and streets. When the parks were built in the towns in caused a tremendous expense for maintenance. The culture and recreation portion of the budget is eating a great deal of the available funding. There are significant costs between the park and the pool; this is driving the problem. All three towns have issues that need to be reviewed and discussed with the town boards. When Panaca Fire District split from the town they took a portion of the tax rate; the town tax never increased to compensate for PFD taking their budgeted amount. Cory stated that discussion concerning maintenance costs was the number one consideration during the park improvement planning. Adam stated that a maintenance fee needs to be budgeted when these parks are created/improved. Lincoln County Fire District has high revenues; tentative amount is $315,363. Improvements are being made in the outlying areas, and money must be tucked away to cover any future fires. Paul M. asked if there is a way to separate the amount of funding coming in from the power line so that it can be used towards the necessary 911 system upgrades. Rick suggested that if a portion of those funds can be rerouted to emergency management this would be more justifiable than pushing the 911 costs off on those who pay the LCFD taxes. Dan will work on isolating the income from the power line. This is just an idea that will be explored in an attempt to prevent raising taxes. There is some discussion concerning how much money to put in the emergency fund; the Board agreed that the fund should be “packed” to get as much money in there as quickly as possible to be ready for anything. Dan will look into the law to see if there is a requirement or cap on the amount that can be put on there. Southeastern LC Habitat Conservation Plan GID was reviewed; Dan stated the information he received seemed odd. The property taxes at projected to be at $144 due to an assessed valuation drop. Assessed valuation was $14 million but is now decreased to $480,000. Toquop is the only area that was decreased from the time it was purchased. Last year’s assessment was at $10 million and it should be the same for this year. Nicole Rowe reviewed the health nurse budget. The budget is increased this year as there were vacant positions for several months of the year last year and a new health nurse, which means reduction in salaries. Nicole is seeking to have her part time assistant moved to full time. They are missing several calls and could be taking more appointments if the assistant could be in the office more. With the onset of electronic medical records and the billing process that they go through, the assistant needs to be there any time Nicole administers immunizations. The increase in hours will be taken into consideration. WIC is looking to have the assistant do some of the clerical duties that Nicole currently does; she has asked if there is funding available through WIC to cover this and is awaiting an answer. Because of the hours that the assistant isn’t there it is believed that some funding is being lost. Pioche Town utilities were discussed. There is some concern about the electrical utility. The cash flow statements cause concern. Several of the projects and expenditures that were planned for the current year will not be completed so this funding will carry over into next year. Rates will be reviewed, but the Pioche Town Board doesn’t believe they will have to raise them just yet. $830,000 is budgeted for Federal In Lieu; if sequestration goes into effect on Friday this fund will decrease by 7%. There is a county ordinance that controls the use of the FILT monies. S&S – Communications and S&S – Code Red require funds to be budgeted; they are recurring expenses. Services & Supplies State will be budgeted at $80,000; this covers the unfunded mandates pushed off on the county a couple of years ago. Solid Waste was budgeted at $80,000. Agricultural Extension is budgeted at $15,000. There is some discussion about the possible combination of the building and planning departments; it may be necessary to budget funds for building department in FILT. The detention center fund is showing a loss of $286,000; this fund will need some close review. Detention Center pays the entire cost of dispatch. There was discussion concerning dispatch and the percentages of costs that should be assigned to each department. How does the Board determine a fair fee for each department that uses it? There was discussion about costs and revenues for the Detention Center; Sheriff Kerry Lee outlined the number of beds they’ve had full the last few months and the unexpected expenses they’ve experienced. Dispatch is estimated to cost $315,000 this year; discussions will be held to try and determine how much of this cost can be assigned for payment to the departments that use it. The Detention Center is paying a lot more than just Detention Center costs. Dan discussed the Detention Center revenue number. Revenue will be adjusted up to 85 beds at $74 per day. This budget can’t be filed with a $286,000 deficit. If an adjustment isn’t made on the beds it’ll require transfers from other departments; the state will not accept the deficit the way it is. Dan will review the employee contracts to see what the numbers for beds agreed to is; the number of beds triggers the pay increases. $20,000 will be supplemented into the Senior Nutrition fund this year, budgeted from PILT. Consolidated tax has decreased in the initial projections. Dan will bring back ten year graphs and ratios showing where the funds will go. Health insurance will increase astronomically; one of the questions that will have to be addressed is whether or not the county will pay all of the increase or, if not, what portion will be passed on to the employees.
Paul M. called for public comment. None offered.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Paul M. adjourned the meeting at 11:07 a.m.