BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
8 AUGUST 2022
Chairman Commissioner Erin Curry opened the meeting asking Commissioner Tommy Pollard to offer a prayer and lead the pledge. She then asked for a motion on the minutes, which was made for approval by Commissioner Gayle Jones, seconded by Commission Larry Worsham. Minutes of 1 July 2022 were approved.
First Agenda Item – Nonprofit Additional Appropriation. A motion to approve $10K for the Trail of Tears Center and $5K for the Boys and Girls Club was made by Commissioner Judy Pruett and seconded by Commissioner Roger Reedy. After discussion the motion was approved to send the recommendation to the full committee by a 6 – 1 vote with Commissioners Erin Curry, Larry Worsham, Judy Pruett, Tim Risner, David Wamble and Roger Reedy voting yes, and Commissioner Gayle Jones voting no. The following discussion took place before the approved motion: Chairman Curry noted representatives were in attendance if questions were raised. Commissioner Reedy then asked Director of financial Management, Beth Moore-Sumners, to address the county’s Fund Balance after closing out the year. She stated the information she would be giving is not yet audited but would, given past experience, be close to the numbers after auditing. The General Fund Balance is $16,727,101.60 which includes reserves, and that $15,066,859.71 would be spendable. Included in the $15M is the $5.723M for COVID Loss of Revenue funds. She further stated the county had gained $54K in the General Fund balance over the previous year. She complimented the Department Heads in that only 91% of their budgets was spent, due in part to staff shortages, e.g., jail, and the conservative estimates and expenditures. She then mentioned the importance of the goal of the Fund Balance account, is it to grow that account or is it to stay somewhat the same. She mentioned the actual vs budgeted revenues with that being at 99.92% of the budget. She said that typically the county over collects actual vs budget but this year in particular some of the major decrease is attributable to the court system. She also discussed the fee vs the salary approach to several of the fee organizations. At this time Commissioner Stoney Jackson stated that the “hospital funds” (the 1984 sale of the county hospital built in 1950 on East Madison Street to a private corporation) was used to pay all county notes off and that left $15M, and to use the fund balance to balance the budget was not proper accounting or stable economic practices. He further suggested that $15M should remail the goal for the fund balance given the possibility of a downturn in the economy in some future time. Commissioner Wamble asked if the $54K gain (mentioned above) included the other funds already approved by the full commission for nonprofits and the answer was those funds were for the 22-23 year and would not have affected the$54K gain which was for the 21-22 year. Commissioner Pruett then said that given one of the worst years in the U.S. economy was the past year, and while the commission has not used the funds for what was spelled out in the strategic plan, she could not sit back and not support the nonprofits. She said they give back to the county more than 600x what is given to them by the county. Director Moore-Sumners then reminded them that to fund nonprofits requires a lead time in the paper, with cost for advertising and a recommendation that the county only do that approval of nonprofits one time only; Commissioner Tim Risner also commented on the cost of commissioners meeting more than one time for nonprofits and he too reiterated only meeting once to determine nonprofit appropriations. At this time Commissioner Wamble mentioned that he thought the Chamber of Commerce should be taken out of the nonprofit category and funded out of the Hotel-Motel tax; and is there a way to increase that tax. There was discussion about whether the county’s rate was “topped” out or not, with one commissioner believing it was and another noting others counties have 7% (Giles has 5%). It was noted by Commissioner Jackson that other county needs must also be funded from that particular tax. After approval of the motion described above, Director Moore-Sumners noted given advertising timelines that this would have to go to the full court in the September meeting.
2nd Agenda Item – Dead Animal Pickup. A letter from the South Tennessee Development District included a request for Dead Stock Removal. This request is a non-binding letter of intent showing a ten percent increase over prior years with the total request for Giles County being $83,932. The increase is being pursued as an alternative funding source through a grant, still being worked. Commissioner Wamble mentioned a previous discussion on moving toward a fee-based system and noted that fee should be applicable to the large users of the dead stock removal program, not to the smaller farm owners who might only have 1-2 dead animals a year. However, without information on how many large users that might be, discussion could wait until those numbers were available, per Chairman Curry. Commissioner Mike Cesarini noted that Maury County had a whole herd wiped out due to disease, and this could be coming to Giles County.
Chairman Curry asked if any old/new business. Commissioner Jackson asked School Superintendent Dr. Vicki Beard if she would give an update on the schools. She noted the UV lights have now been installed in five of the schools and that she would be meeting with the general contractor next week to determine what can be done in the next phase.
With no other business, Commissioner Reedy moved for adjournment, with Commissioner Risner seconding, the motion was approved.
ATTENDEES: Commissioner members of the Committee – Chairman Erin Curry, Gayle Jones, Larry Worsham, Judy Pruett, Tim Risner, David Wamble, and Roger Reedy Other Commissioners in attendance – David Adams, Tommy Pollard, Joseph Sutton, Duane Jones, Tracy Wilburn, Joyce Woodard, Stoney Jackson, Rose Brown, and Mike Cesarini Other – Director of Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners and Nancy Griffin, School Superintendent Dr. Vickie Beard, Economic Development Director David Hamilton and members of the public.