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Budget Committee Meeting Minutes – August 5, 2021 (APPROVED)

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5 AUGUST 2021


ATTENDEES:  Chairperson Erin Curry, Duane Jones, Larry Worsham, Judy Pruett, Gayle Jones, David Wamble, and Tim Risner Other:  County Executive Melissa Greene, Tommy Pollard, Joseph Sutton, Roger Reedy, Harold Brooks, Tracy Wilburn, Joyce Woodard, David Adams, Brad Butler, Terry Harwell, Stoney Jackson, Mike Cesarini, Rodney Journey, Bill Cary PRIVATE CITIZENS: Bill Myers, Giles County Fire and Rescue;  Tamieka Russell and Garret Laarman, PES; Scott Stewart, Pulaski Citizen, and Bill Young


(No prayer and pledge since done in previous property meeting.)        9 July 2021 minutes were approved after motion by Tim Risner and seconded by Duane Jones.


Erin changed lineup of agenda to allow Bill Myers of Giles County Fire and Rescue to go first.  Given that all members of the budget committee had heard in the property meeting the request for funding for county owned buildings, a motion by Judy Pruett and seconded by David Wamble was made and approved to send the fund request to the full commission.


Bill Myers gave information on non-county owned buildings with some of same problems as county owned, as well as bathrooms not working in non-county owned.  Drainage continues to plague the buildings causing damage.  Bill mentioned Anthony Hill had raised $6K for inside remodeling.  Mike Cesarini pointed out a disparity in funding for one project and Bill corrected (all columns on left correct in the handout).  The total requested for all non-county owned buildings is $13,400.  David Wamble moved for $15K and Tim seconded approval for fund request.  Question on why  more than requested, and David answered that typically costs come in more than estimated.  Motion approved 5/2 with Gayle Jones and Duane Jones voting no.  Per Beth this will have to be published in the paper and then come back to the Budget Committee.  Ending this discussion Melissa asked for same consideration on expected courthouse modifications.


Next Agenda Item:  Relating to non-profit budget amendments for Senior Citizens, Minor Hill Library and Campbellsville Library, Beth said the information had been published and was now back to the Budget Committee.  Gayle Jones moved for approval, Larry Worsham seconded and motion approved.


Next Agenda Item:  Melissa gave information on a potential grant which would expand broadband partially in the south part of the county.  The grant  requires a “partnership” between a political subdivision of a state and providers of fixed broadband service, that being the county and PES.  A tutorial video on the advantages of fiber optic vs current capability was given.  Tamieka and Garret presented the information, that being the due date for this particular grant is 17 August, coming one day after full commission meeting.  Award requested will be for $5M, cover 758 homes, does not require any matching funds.  On being asked what is the downside, if any, for the county, Beth explained that as a signee, any default on the grant could result in financial obligation on the county and that overseeing the effort (e.g. work being completed timely) would fall on the County Executive.  On being asked if that would require an additional county employee, Melissa answered that her background helps, the engineering firm of Finley can be depended on for design, liability insurance, to manage the bid out, and that she will be working hand in hand with PES, so no hire necessary.  Stoney asked would the fiber optic be buried, and response mostly in air.  Temieka commented that there is a one year timeline to complete but can apply for an extension if necessary (spoke of COVID challenges lately).  On being asked about other grants, and a discussion on the Federal potential approval for infrastructure, which has some broadband coverage, Melissa spoke of the ARP grant currently in hand but having to wait on rules for expenditure which should be provided in September.  A question on this grant is can these funds be used to show matching funds on other potential grants, still to be answered.  Roger asked about cost to individual households covered in this grant, e.g. would there be a cost or a certain percentage of buy-ins required.  Answer no cost or buy-ins, will be to outside of home and would have to get back with committee on installation costs.  They are expecting, given the cheaper, faster capability, to have more than 60% buy-in.  Question on competition or overlap, and answer is that PES can only follow their electricity footprint.  Motion by David Wamble, seconded by Judy Pruett for approval and to send to full commission.  Motion approved.


Old Business – Beth gave a financial update on 2020-2021 budget, including revenue and expenditures.  Although these were not audited figures, she expects them to be accepted.  The General Fund for the county, including Reserves, was $10,949,357.17 with much of the revenues exceeding expectations with the exception of litigation which was down considerably (changes in probation and other receipts affected by virtual due to COVID).


New Business – Melissa mentioned communications, especially for first responders has been a problem and that in near future should be considered for possible funding fix.  Exit 14 was mentioned and Melissa said that within two months she will have a plan to put in front of the commissions, which in some cases will include grants.


With no other business, Tim Risner moved for adjournment, with Duane Jones seconded.  Motion approved.