May 14, 2012Friday, May 25th, 2012
STATE OF WYOMING ) LANDER, WYOMING
) ss. OFFICE OF THE FREMONT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF FREMONT ) May 14, 2012
The Board of Fremont County Commissioners met in Special Session at 9:00 a.m. with the following members present: Chairman Douglas L. Thompson, Keja Whiteman, Dennis Christensen and Travis Becker. Vice-Chairman Hickerson absent due to his attendance at the Wyoming Federal Public Lands Committee meeting in Rock Springs. County Clerk and Clerk of the Board Julie A. Freese was present.
The following budget hearings were held:
Library Board. Present was Director Matt Nojonen, Bookkeeper Rebecca Thomas, Maintenance Supervisor Tom Norwood and Board members Kevin Tippets, Barbara Gose, Jackie Meeker and Don Newton. Last year’s budget was $2,636,700 and this is also their static budget request. The 5% reduction is $2,537,365. Matt noted that one of the most critical needs is to fix the Riverton Branch roof which has a long history of leakage as well as site drainage problems. They feel $40,000-$50,000 is needed for a thorough design/engineering study. Areas that would be reduced or eliminated in a 5% reduced budget are: 1) eliminate funding to community libraries, training seminars, travel expenses, computer software and building improvements. 2) Reduction of operating hours and cuts to the collection as well as programs. Commissioner Thompson asked if a cut did occur would they prefer a cut in hours or collection. Matt stated that they would have to cut both due to the amount needed to make that amount of reduction. Commissioner Whiteman noted that their request for a John Deere yard tractor for $18,000 total is a little high for a yard tractor. She mentioned that the Fair had acquired another brand of tractor that was significantly less and effective for their needs. Tom mentioned that the piece of equipment is also used for snow removal and noted that the ease of changing the implements was part of their reasoning to request this particular model. Commissioner Christensen asked if they are seeing any benefits from their ARRA grant for lighting upgrades. Matt said it was too soon to know. Christensen mentioned that their request is the same as last year and Rebecca stated that the last winter had been mild and not knowing what the savings might be, they left it the same. Chances are that the trash removal may go up and this line item could help cover if need be.
Women, Infants and Children. Present was Susan Siler. Last year’s budget was $111,445. This year’s request is $105,892 which is approximately the 5% reduced amount. This budget is a pass through grant fully reimbursed by the State ofWyoming. Part of their budget has salary increases but she said that is in the budget just in case the state gives raises to the employees. She doubts that salary increases will occur this year. Commissioner Becker questioned no revenue projection. TheCountyClerk stated that it should be the same as their budget amount.
Foster Grandparents. Present were: Carol Andreen, Director and grandparents Barbara Starrett, Mary Slifko, Ida Brown and Hilda Gordon. Last year, they received $3,000 and this year they ask for the same amount. A 5% reduction would be a contribution of $2,850. Carol said they are thankful for any help the commissioners can spare and if that means a 5% cut, they understand. They do receive state funding. They have to receive local money as an in kind match. They have seen a reduction in funding from the small cities and towns inHot Springs county, but made up by receiving some from Hot Springs County Commissioners. They receive funding from the City ofRiverton.
Public Health Nursing. Present was Director Julie Twist and Kathy Laidlaw, Riverton Supervisor. They are currently undergoing personnel changes. The general fund budget pays for three support staff with partial funding reimbursement to the state for six state nurses. A sliding fee scale has been implemented and this has increased the amount of revenue that they are receiving in their department. State funding changes are occurring with the change to the LT101 program (long term assessments). These requests should now go through the state with the approved requests to be forwarded to the county public health department. The Maternal Child Health Nursing position is being evaluated to determine the necessity of this additional position. The latest addition to the public health grants is the Title X Family Planning grant. Although this program relies heavily on donations, third party billing and other funding streams, an initial $15,000 start up grant from the Wyoming Health Council has been received. Commissioner Thompson asked about the Emergency Preparedness Program. Julie stated that this program funds one nurse at 100% and the fund also pays $1000 monthly for the county health officer. This was a program that was developed by the federal government after 9-11. Line items for rentals were discussed and Julie stated that they had received a vehicle and expect the line to increase. Travel is projected to be higher and Julie didn’t want to drop this line item just in case they needed it. The same goes for the Machinery and Equipment >1000 line. It is projected at $2000 with no plans for that amount.
Museum Board. Present were: Eileen Urbigkit, Steve Banks, Tom Duncan and Butch Tonkin Board members. PioneerMuseum Director Carol Thiesse was in the audience. They are going through the process of attempting to hire another Administrative Assistant. They have tried to make the 5% cuts but their budgets are currently very lean. They have changed the personnel structure in Lander from a full time position to 2 part time people. It has been difficult to find staff to work in that structure. They are dealing with back log issues on their collections and find it hard to get this accomplished with the staff they currently have. Looking at close to 20,000 items that have not been accessioned across the three museums. They have an employee that has been hired that has requested the family insurance and the budget was listed as a single insurance. The amount between the two is why they cannot reach the 5% reduced amount. The Dubois museum project is in the hands of Quinn & Co. The size and design of the structure is still being adjusted. Reduction in hours are being looked at for the winter months as that is when the museums are least visited. This is only being looked at if the funds from the county are reduced. Dubois special event fund raising was brought up by Commissioner Christensen as a wash. They responded that the fund raiser was with the Frisen Institute and they had to share funds raised with them as well as the purchase of a pistol to raffle off. They are using some of their self generated funds to help with the 5% reduction. Julie Freese mentioned that a better way to address this would be to include self generated funds in the regular budget as revenue so that the costs of the budget are stable from year to year, just utilizing the self generated funds to help with the 5% reduction. The money they receive from a publication they have produced can go into a cash reserve fund that is restricted for use only in re-producing this publication at a later date.
County Assessor. Present was: Assessor Tara Berg, Deputy Lisa Campbell and GIS Mapper Chip Williams. Last year’s budget was $896,241. This year’s static budget is $851,863. The 5% reduced budget is $851,429. Some of the reasons for not expending the current year’s budget is due to an employee resigning in September and not filling the position until December, some employees have either changed or dropped their health insurance, the fuel line item was not expended as part of the areas that were budgeted were started at the end of the year and fuel was estimated at $4.50 per gallon and has since gone down, travel and training was not fully expended as some employees were able to stay with family members and other training was not utilized or not needed. Mapping supplies was not fully expended as this line item is used strictly for the large plotter/scanner. As they have increased the ability to digitize all of the plat information, they no longer print the subdivisions. The plotter is used for large maps (flood situations, voting precinct maps). The equipment < $1,000 has been reduced and is dependent on the functionality of cameras and telephone headsets. The Office is scheduled to upgrade to a newer version of the CAMA software, which could cause some additional expenses for software, training, travel, etc. The Office continues to be the primary source of GIS and mapping information for the County and is utilized by many agencies.
Information Systems Support. Present was Joni Miller, Supervisor. Last year’s budget was $466,485. This year’s static budget request is $442,501. The 5% reduced budget is at $417,866. Both amounts are less $17,500 for the service agreement that belongs to theCountyClerk. The only other place to cut, Joni would only be able to cut the part time position that they still have not hired. She also would prefer at this time to request a full time computer technician rather than the part time administrative position that was approved last year. Any other cuts will affect each office as she orders paper and computers for the departments. Training was also cut in the 5% reduction scenario. She has advertised for a part time clerical position and she has had no contact regarding that position.
1690 Telephone. Present was Joni Miller. The total budget request is $11,000. This is the budget that is everything associated with the telephone system in both Lander and Riverton, Voice Mail and Paging systems. This also includes the Off Premises Locations, Nurse, EMA, Coroner, Riverton and Lander Roads. This is for the accounting and maintenance of the phone systems. The breakdown is $796 for Paging System maintenance, $851 Call accounting, $565 for the Rate Table and Software Support is $1850.
1690 Service Agreements. This is the service agreements for the Lander and Riverton Voice IP Phone Systems. The request is $30,500.
Fair Board. Present was Director Barney Cosner. Last year’s budget was $1,130,470. This year’s static request is $1,094,445. Budget cuts were made in Drug Testing, vehicle repair, rentals, building supplies, operating supplies, and computer supplies. They have $500 in drug testing but have no formal program in place. The County Clerk asked for a breakdown on the contractual services for both the static budget and 5% reduced budget. Barney asked that the approximate $45,000 they receive for sponsorships be restricted for them to use next year for the county’s 100th birthday as they wish to purchase memorabilia.
Ambulance Enterprise Fund. Present was Director Lauri Wempen and Lander Division Supervisor Todd Smith and Riverton Division Supervisor Bill Hetzel. Last year’s budget was $1,759,570. Lauri has presented several options for this year’s request based on several criteria which will be discussed through this hearing. Lauri stated that the time has come to move from a volunteer ambulance service to a career service. In order to give workers adequate rest between shifts, she feels this is the best avenue to proceed to at this time. She is also suggesting that they establish a primary unit that answers 911 calls in Lander and Riverton, then establish a second unit that answers transfer requests, standby, and backup ambulances on a 12 hour work rotation with 12 hour “pager time”. They also want to establish pager time for a third unit 12 hours out of a 24 hour block. Lieutenant positions needs to go to a benefited position as hours would range from 108 to 132 hours per month. Reduction by 5% would impact that only one ambulance would be available to a community rather than three. Two person crews will need assistance of fire based programs and law enforcement cooperation. Longer response times which directly relates to the impact of life threatening emergencies. Fee schedules were reviewed across the state andFremontCounty is still near the bottom. Lauri suggests a base rate and then a “bundled” cost for the other services. Suggested base rates were presented for review and includes standby rates as well.
Shoshoni Sr. Citizens Center. Present was: Lindy Linn, Director. Last year’s allocation was $4,000. This year’s request is $13,830. They supply meals in their center and also to homebound elderly. They have a senior van to provide transportation to Riverton, Lander andCasper for appointments, banking, shopping etc. Total match that they require to receive grant funding is $27,311. They receive some funds ($350) from the Town ofShoshoni as well as the endowment fund for operations and maintenance of the center.
County Sheriff. Present was Sheriff Skip Hornecker and Administrative Assistant Karla Davis.
Communications: All budgets will have a static, 5% reduced and preferred budget columns. The 5% reduced column has cuts in it in operation and maintenance, overtime, and holiday pay just to meet the static line item. In their preferred budget they are asking for a $350/month raise for their employees. Their budget for last year was $941,370. They expect to spend $902,379 from that budget. The Static column is the same amount, the 5% reduction at $894,302 and their preferred request is $1,030,393. The amounts increased in the preferred budget is the salary/benefits increase, service agreements by $11,000, dues and subscriptions by $300, miscellaneous services and charges by $500, and uniforms by $2,600. Skip stated that they couldn’t operate with a 5% cut as it impacts the personnel to be able to do that. Commissioner Christensen noted that by not replacing the open dispatch position it would fulfill the 5% cut. The City ofRiverton has some monetary responsibility for their service agreements but has yet to pay any amount for their services received through theFremontCountyCommunicationsCenter. The City ofLander pays $118,800 annually for their share, Shoshoni pays through in kind services for their portion.
Sheriff Administration/Patrol. The 5% reduction would require them to drop overtime and holiday pay, decrease active patrol, equipment costs, service agreements, contractual services, training, travel, fuel, uniforms, equipment, furniture and computer software. Six deputies are stationed in Dubois. One of those deputies works as a school resource officer for 9 months out of a year and is paid for in part by theDuboisSchool District. Commissioner Thompson asked if the revenue they receive for paper service, contracts and reimbursements cover the costs. Sheriff Hornecker stated that it does cover the costs. Sheriff Hornecker stated that the amount service in Dubois is not funded by the Town to that extent. The Sheriff stated that they are offering the least amount of service that they can within the town limits, the rest of the time, they are serving the county area around Dubois. Commissioner Hickerson asked why they have had a dramatic decrease in the last 3 years in revenue. Sheriff Hornecker stated that theHudson contract went away, the Dubois school doesn’t pay part of the SRO officer, the Forest Service contract has also decreased.
Detention. Last year’s budget was $4,228,628. They expect to be over budget by $386,219 by the end of the fiscal year. The static budget will remain at $4,228,628. The 5% reduced is $4,017,197 and the preferred amount if $4,228,628. If required to reduce this budget by 5% they will have to drop overtime, holiday pay, and operating supplies, then reduce medical services, service agreements, travel, medical supplies, prisoner board, and computer supplies. They have employees going to every single academy class there is and they have a very young group. Commissioner Becker questioned where they are with the video arraignment equipment. Sheriff Hornecker stated that the equipment has been received. Commissioner Becker is disappointed that when approved, he thought it would have been started by now and saving money. Sheriff Hornecker stated that he was upfront a year ago that this would not save the county any significant funds. The County Clerk stated that the Sheriff, Treasurer, Clerk, Building Maintenance Supervisor and Commissioner Becker worked on the jail endowment policy and will be recommending changes to that policy as far as amounts of money and types of replacements and repairs that fund should be working on. That committee will be making a recommendation later to the full board. However, the Sheriff will be working on a list of equipment that may fall under that policy for replacement and repairs and therefore may alter the budget seen today. Commissioner Thompson mentioned that he had had conversations from some of the detention medical providers and they would like to meet on ways to save the detention medical costs.
Search and Rescue. This is basically a pass through budget as they get reimbursement from the Safe Rural Schools money and the State Search and Rescue fund. They have reduced the request by 5% knowing that they don’t know when and how much a search will cost in any given year.
The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
/s/ DOUGLAS L. THOMPSON, CHAIRMAN
FREMONT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
/s/ JULIE A. FREESE, COUNTY CLERK AND CLERK OF THE BOARD