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Budget Committee Minutes; 23 MAY 24 (Unapproved)

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Chair Commissioner Erin Curry opened the meeting asking for a motion on the 4 April 2024 minutes (prayer and pledge had been offered in previous same day meeting).  A motion by Commissioner Matthew Hopkins and seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour to approve the 4 April 2024 minutes was approved unanimously. 

First Agenda Item – Budget Amendments.  General Purpose School amendment for Special Education, discussed in previous school meeting, was moved for approval by Commissioner Gayle Jones, seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour, and approved unanimously. 

The next Budget Amendment addressed the County General Fund’s revenue, specifically the revenue due to ambulance service.  Financial Manager (FM) Beth Moore-Sumners discussed actual ambulance revenue vs budgeted revenue and noted the positive trend.  That is, budgeted $2.4M and the actual number to date is $2.064M, and with an estimate of $200k per month for rest of fiscal year.  That brings the projected number to be rounded at $ 2.6M.  Previous years were respectively $2.287 for 2023; $2.3M for 2022; and $2.1M for 2021.  With that positive trend, next year’s ambulance revenue should be even higher than this year, she stated.   RE the Ambulance LI, for several years, due to shortage of personnel, overtime has been used to offset those vacancies.  This year with less vacancies instead of using the fund balance for additional overtime, funds were taken from within the existing budget, and considering there is also increased revenue.  Part of that increase was explained by Director Bill Myers.  He noted a contract signed around 2017 showing if insurance denies hospital transportation, then the hospital would pay the county at the Medicare rate.  That had not happened and the hospital will be looking backwards to Jun 2021 for more revenue with current reimbursement being $4,264. Next LI addressed a potential grant which would be based on reimbursement, i.e., paid by county in this FY and reimbursed, if approved, in the next FY.  Commissioner Matthew Hopkins asked if the two items to be purchased under this grant, a new ventilator and a LUCAS device to improve the quality of chest compressions, was in their approved budget for this FY.  Since they were not, Commissioner Hopkins moved that the amendment reflect the purchase be shown in their budget under patient charges which was showing a positive trend, and with Commissioner Evan Baddour providing the second, the motion was approved unanimously.  Next LI addressed the airport for an increase of $9,214.  The county had been provided with an invoice from the city of Pulaski (shares cost of airport), and it was noted that the insurance information showed a doubled amount increase.  Next LIs were on County Coroner and welfare services – unclaimed burials.    The FM mentioned these were statutory requirements.  A motion by Commissioner Gayle Jones, seconded by Commissioner Judy Pruett was made to approve the overall budget amendment.   Motion approved unanimously.

Next agenda item – Real Property Median Ration.  Property Assessor Tommy Hyatt provided a handout on overall median ratios for all assessed real property in Tennessee by county.  The handout showed the relationship between appraised or assessed values and market values.  He then gave an informational presentation of Giles County and noted that based on the county’s ratio of 0.7535 (best range 1.0000 or near) the county would have a reduction in revenue of $180K in property tax.  Mr. Hyatt also noted the ratio has been impacted by commercial activities cutting back on expenditures, as well as the interest rate moving slowly to encourage investments. 

The Chair noted the county would be focusing on the library and Fire & Rescue within the non-profit applications, and asked if there were any unfinished business or new business.  She did mention the upcoming all day budget meeting at 8:30 a.m. on the 23rd.  Commissioner Matt Rubelsky mentioned the Ag Park again and the budget impact, possible $687 plus utilities.  The Chair then handed out individual copies of all non-profit submissions, total requested being $551,024 (includes libraries and Fire & Rescue).  A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Matthew Hopkins, seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour, and was approved unanimously.

ATTENDEES:  Members – Chair Commissioner Erin Curry,  Commissioners – David Adams, Gayle Jones, Evan Badour, Matthew Hopkins, Terry Jones, Judy Pruett  Other Commissioners Attending – Rose Brown, Shelly Goolsby, Joyce Woodard, Tracy Wilburn, Brad Butler, Matt Rubelsky, Annelle Guthrie  Other – Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners, Shana Woodard, School Superintendent  Vicki Beard, Public Scott Stewart