BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
6 MAY 2022
Chairman Erin Curry opened the meeting, after noting a prayer and the pledge were given in previous meeting, same day. She then asked for a motion on approving the minutes of 9 March 2022, previously provided. Commissioner Larry Worsham moved for approval, with Commissioner Judy Pruett seconding. Minutes were approved.
First Agenda Item – School amendment for Budget Line Item 141, also discussed in previous meeting. Commissioner David Wamble moved for approval with Larry Worsham seconding. Motion approved.
Second Agenda Item – Reappraisal – Tommy Hyatt (Property Assessor – Giles County). Tommy emphasized this is a state-wide process done every five years. His job is to determine market value using median sale numbers from the previous full year, e.g. notices mailed recently reflect market value of property as of January 1 of the revaluation year. The state then sets a rate that assures the various counties receive approximately the same amount as before the appraisal. Example given, if Giles received $100 last year, then Giles would receive only $100 this year, with the exception being if there were any new or add-on to structures. The reappraisal cannot result in additional revenue if for same property as before. Tax rate would be adjusted downward to accommodate increased property values. He stressed the number of phone calls expressing concerns over their increased property values, and during which he had explained the above. Commissioner Stoney Jackson asked about the penny and Tommy stated he wanted to get the state rate first. (The “penny” is a rate devised to work out property tax applications, and the potential revenue to the county.) Tommy said, possibly by end of the day, could give a working number. Stoney mentioned with all new construction, the penny should be up. Tommy gave numerous examples of the exponential increase in sale prices vs estimated appraisal prices, showing the strong market fluctuations many counties across the state are experiencing. Chairman Curry thanked Tommy for coming and discussing the reappraisal process.
Third Agenda Item – Highway 131 Amendment. Highway Superintendent could not attend but had contacted five of the seven Highway Committee members to discuss the amendment. Director Beth Sumners-Moore of Financial Management described the amendment for this committee as being the purchase of a new piece of highway equipment – a skid steer loader, and funding for that item covered through their existing budget, for example sale of old equipment, insurance recovery. Commissioner David Wamble moved for approval of the amendment, and with Commissioner Larry Worsham seconding, the motion was approved.
Fourth Agenda Item – County General Fund 101. Beth Moore-Sumners described each of the various Budget Line Items as follow:
Transfer in from Fund 127 ARPA (American Rescue Plan) ARPA funds were under the category “Loss Revenue” providing the county with maximum flexibility however the changing rules for the funding have changed and are being changed currently. Beth described this amendment as being done with the help of the county audit personnel, and reflects the total budget however in actuality she can only transfer what is available at the time. County Executive Melissa Greene stated this does not include the funding for the storm water or the water. Commissioner David Adams asked about another meeting with the water districts since their requirements had not been clear. Melissa said she was meeting with the Development District on Tuesday, the rules were still changing, and the county can only send in one application. Complications of that include different timelines for different districts. David Adams asked about an update on the broadband for the county. Melissa said 6 or 7 applications were turned in addressing parts of the county, however the County was only included on 3 of those. Commissioner Bill Cary asked about any timeline for completion, and Melissa said depends on who receives the award, size of the projects, challenges on obtaining materials. She gave a rough estimate of 18-24 months if building has no delays.
Jail – Body Scanner. This item is contingent upon the Jail Committee approving the purchase and that committee meets on the 10th of May. Funding is available due to the budget staff shortfall.
Animal Shelter – Building improvements. Beth mentioned their careful scrubbing of the existing budget, and this is required over and above.
Airport – Considerable discussion on the airport with concerns being little to no information being provided the county. Previous discussions were mentioned about income and salaries. At this time, Commissioner Stoney Jackson said several of these amendments have not gone through the county committees, and there are rules to be followed, and if not following, no need for the committees. Chairman Curry said she is on the Advisory Board for the airport and this should be the Public Service committee responsibility. David Wamble moved and David Adams seconded that this item be removed until Public Service reviews. Commissioner Gayle Jones mentioned the salaries are much lower than other department heads. David Wamble said you can’t just approve dollars without knowing and Bill Cary asked exactly what benefit does the county get. Most of the flights include for industry located in the city, e.g. emergency supplies. Motion approved.
County attorney – increase due to probation effort.
County Commission – voting software. This software is for the voting done by county commissioners in the courthouse. The current software is old, Windows 98, and can’t be updated. The amendment includes 23 tablets and the software with the annual maintenance included for 3 years.
Ag Park Dumpster. Purchase of new dumpster due to varying timelines of events at the park vs timelines of convenience centers (open three days a week). Question was raised by David Adams on cost of purchase of a dented one rather than new. County Executive said the county will be buying both, the dented one to be used by the convenience center and the new at the Ag Park.
Sanitation Management –Beth discussed the scrub of this budget to get as much possible from existing budgeted amounts (total of $28K required with $9447 required from fund balance), but the tipping fees in particular are the result of considerable increase in volume of waste.
Sheriff’s Department – Beth said again the increased cost of gasoline required funds from other budget line sources with the budget line for staff being available due to the shortage in staff. Commissioner Mike Cesarini mentioned the commission had approved significant raises to attract addition staff, and what is the status of that. Beth said it’s not just this county but all are having problems finding staff.
Animal Shelter – Beth also mentioned the shelter may have to come back before end of budget year.
Ambulance – Beth said short staff, increase in cost of drugs, and gasoline and Director Roy Griggs said continuing to work significant overtime. David Adams asked about the new work schedule attracting new personnel and Roy named some potential prospects. Commissioner Roger Reedy said good not over bottom line of budget but may not be providing the service done in the past. Commissioner Joseph Sutton asked about how many full ambulances and Roy responded with eight vehicles but noted using drivers who can drive only and in case of medicine, short supply or not even available.
A motion by Roger Reedy to approve this County Budget Line Item 101 and 127 was made contingent upon the jail committee approving the purchase of the body scanner and the removal of the airport amendment. David Wamble seconded and motion was approved. Commissioner Tracy Wilburn, chairman of the Public Services committee, will hold a meeting to discuss the airport.
Fifth Agenda Item – Tax Relief. Chairman Erin Curry noted that some counties match the state relief. She provided a handout she had prepared using the Tennessee Comptroller’s website. The handout showed a comparison of the state property tax relief and the county property tax freeze, and the 2021 tax relief for Giles Countians. She did say that the tax freeze would add additional effort for both citizens and the Trustee’s office. She also suggested the county could do a better job of educating the public. Commissioner Tommy Pollard suggested you could take $100 off top of tax for qualifying senior citizens and that would reduce required additional effort. Commissioner David Wamble said he would like to look further into this effort.
Six Agenda Item – Non profits. Chairman Curry said no true decision today on who is funded since the full budget has not been determined. Erin said the non-profits had been dropped off as requested, but the Minor Hill library only turned in 9 copies and used the old application. Boys and Girls (B&G) club didn’t collate their copies although all others did. David Wamble and Roger Reedy said would like to allow B&G be put back in. Question was raised why B&G showed Maury County and Joseph Sutton said Maury does 8 counties, but only the paperwork. Do not receive the funds. The Giles Library and the Fire and Rescue were mentioned by Erin as being maintenance of effort. David Wamble said he would make a motion in the full commission for the Minor Hill library. Erin also mentioned there were a considerable number of new applicants. David Wamble and David Adams both said using county funds to pay for these non-profits means others have to pay for the services. Bill Cary discussed the Fire and Rescue saying in just a few short years their budget was around $100k and now is $278K, a huge increase. He said they do little for Elkton and Ardmore, both who have their own fire departments. Erin mentioned she was on the board for the Fire and Rescue. Roger Reedy mentioned the possibility of suspending the rules for some non-profits would potentially delay approval of the budget since you would have to advertise the change. On being asked who would attend the next budget meeting, Erin responded with the Department Heads will be invited and the non-profits are invited. Beth said the county budget should be available for pickup on the 20th and the school meets on the 19th.
There being no old or new business, David Wamble moved for adjournment and with Larry Worsham providing the second, motion approved.
Attendees: Members of Committee – Commissioners Chairman Erin Curry, Larry Worsham, David Adams, Judy Pruett, Roger Reedy, David Wamble and Gayle Jones; Other Commissioners Stoney Jackson, Duane Jones, Tracy Wilburn, Tommy Pollard, Terry Harwell, Rodney Journey, Harold Brooks, Bill Cary, Mike Cesarini, Rose Brown, Joseph Sutton, Brad Butler, Joyce Woodard/ Other County Executive Melissa Greene, Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners, Nancy Griffin, Ambulance Roy Griggs, and members of the public