BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
1 JULY 2022
Chairman Commissioner Erin Curry opened the meeting noting a prayer and the pledge had been offered in the same day previous Property meeting. Minutes of 23 May 2022 and 13 June 2022 were moved for approval by Larry Worsham and seconded by Tim Risner. Minutes approved.
First Agenda Item – 101, 131, 141 Amendments to 2022-2023 Budget. Financial Management Director Beth Moore-Sumners mentioned the previous Budget Committee meeting where the commissioners were told that some outstanding issues already approved such as purchasing orders would be rolled into the Fund Balance and then would be pulled out. The $978,157 also includes the previously approved $170K for Sheriff Patrol Cars, $1,100 a grant to the animal shelter, $8,100 for Ag Park Cameras, and the $35,000 for OEM change order approved in previous property meeting. A motion to approve was made by Commissioner Roger Reedy, seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham and the motion was approved after the following discussion. A question by Commissioner Joyce Woodard related to source of funding for the Ag Park cameras was raised, that being could the Hotel/Motel tax be used. Director Moore-Sumners said she would check. At this point in the discussion Commissioner Stoney Jackson mentioned the other items that would require funding from the same tax, and the source of this funding, litigation, is currently at a lower historical level. Director Moore-Sumners said, in her opinion, those funds should be used for larger projects. Another comment by Commissioner David Wamble was on interest rates on county investments potentially increasing given the nation’s interest rates are going up. Beth said that was a question for the Trustee but noted that the county gets less than banks due to the need to have those funds accessible more often.
Next Agenda Item – Sales Tax Resolution. Director Moore-Sumners said there is a need for a resolution to clearly declare the state approved rate. A motion by Commissioner David Wamble and seconded by Commissioner Judy Pruitt was made for a resolution declaring the state approval rate and was approved.
Next Agenda Item – Ambulance Property. A motion by Commissioner Roger Reedy, seconded by Larry Worsham to pass on to the full commissioner the $700K property offer, discussed in same day Property meeting, for the Ambulance Department contingent on the TDOT approved driveway. That property being the 40 acres in the city located on Mill Street, and the bypass and surrounded by a state road. Question raised by Commissioner Wamble on where is the funding for this. Director Moore-Sumners suggested the general Fund balance which is around $13M at this time. Commissioner Gayle Jones mentioned the current Ambulance building and that it could be sold although several commissioners disagreed. Commissioner Wilburn also mentioned that the 911 service has $3M that could potentially be used for this purchase, with 911 board approval. County Executive Melissa Greene said her recommendation would be for the county to purchase (one buyer only) and then sell to 911 as a “cleaner solution”. Questions and answers were discussed about driveway TDOT restrictions such as traffic signals, speed limits, line of sight and water flow. A question on potential amount required to do an engineering study for the driveway and Chairman Curry said $5K. A motion by Commissioner Reedy and seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham to approve $5K for engineering work to determine entrance/exit needs. Motion approved.
Original motion of $700K amended by Commissioner David Wamble and seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham to change the offer to $600K passed 5-2 with Commissioners Reedy and Gayle Jones voting no. Another motion by Commissioner David Wamble and seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham was then made for the $600K to be offered, contingent upon driveway access approval.
Questions about the overall budget resulted in Director Beth Moore-Sumners discussing how much was rolled back into the fund balance due to unspent department head budgets for 2021-2022. That number was approximately $1M.
Next Agenda Item – Minor Hill Library. A motion by Commissioner Gayle Jones seconded by Commissioner Tim Risner to approve $1850 was approved. A question on why funding for libraries is considered since they fall under the Maintenance of Effort (MoE) category, i.e. once funded at a certain level, that level must be maintained. Chairman Curry suggested that the rules would be reviewed and also mentioned modifying the rules so that the responses are collated. Director Beth Moore-Sumners mentioned not only the MoE but also the financial information must be reviewed.
Commissioner Tommy Pollard discussed the charitable request from New Canaan (NC) Ranch for $2K which was refused at the time of the review of all non-profit/charities. Commissioner Tracy Wilburn said he had calls for funding the Kid’s Place. A motion by Commissioner Roger Reedy and seconded by Commissioner Gayle Jones to approve $2K for NC Ranch was made. At this time County Executive Melissa Greene stated that there was a $60K fund available for rehab and that she had asked the Financial Management Director to check if it could be used for the NC Ranch. The Director said she had confirmed that it could be used toward building. Commissioner Judy Pruett asked who is responsible for budgeting at the NC Ranch and Commissioner Reedy provided information on their Board – Friends of NC, and the volunteer accounting/people who run the programs. He said they pay water, food, and the residents work with ½ going to the residents and ½ to NC and the $60K would go into the Friends of NC. At this time Commissioner Pruett mentioned the Betterway House as well. Question by Commissioner Duane Jones on how many dollars a year go into this fund, and Financial Management Director said around $6-8K a year. Commissioner Pollard said he would not recommend putting all of it in NC, especially since his church donates $200 a month for food. Question by Commissioner Adams on when would start the building back, after the somewhat recent fire. Commissioner Reedy said there is $150K insurance but can not use that for housing, and a church is renovating the house while the residents are living there. Chairman Curry said that $1K would help Betterway House with their utilities. A suggestion was made to give NC $50K and give Betterway House the other from the $60K. Commissioner Wilburn mentioned the Kid’s Place which is for abused children and helps the police to make a case. A motion by David Wamble and seconded by Commissioner Tim Risner to give $55K to New Canaan Friends and $5K to Betterway House. Motion approved. Motion by Commissioner Roger Reedy seconded by Commissioner David Wamble to give Kid’s Place $2500 and motion was approved. A motion by David Wamble to give Rural Food Delivery (RFD) $2500 and seconded by Commissioner Pruitt was approved.
A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Tim Risner and seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham was approved.
Attendees: Members of Committee – Commissioners Chairman Erin Curry, Larry Worsham, Tim Risner, Roger Reedy, David Wamble, Gayle Jones, Judy Pruett/ Other Commissioners Stoney Jackson, Duane Jones, Tracy Wilburn, Tommy Pollard, Terry Harwell, David Adams, Harold Brooks, Mike Cesarini, Rose Brown, Joseph Sutton, Joyce Woodard/ Other County Executive Melissa Greene, Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners, Nancy Griffin, and members of the public