CC Notes – February 17th 2015
The regular monthly Cumberland County Commission meeting, was held on Tuesday, February 17th instead of the normal Monday due to Presidents day. All members of the County Commission were able to battle the weather and attend the meeting except for Sonya Rimmer and Woody Geisler. Commissioner Rimmer had to work due to the power outages, and Commissioner Geisler was out of town.
The first of six resolutions of the night was for approval of the exchange of property on Flynn’s Cove Road near the county landfill. Fred Stout and Kevin Hinch own property in the area. The proposed trade of property involves a piece of land away from the landfill for a piece of property next to the landfill. This trade gives the county more land next to the landfill that can be used for fill dirt if needed in the future. Mike Harvel brought this proposal to both the Environmental and the Building and Grounds Committees, with both agreeing to the exchange. The resolution was unanimously passed. The second resolution involved closing a portion of Carey Drive. Notice was given in the paper, and the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission voted to accept the recommendation of Mayor Carey. The closed area of the road measures 0.61 miles making the new length of Carey Dive 0.08 miles. The resolution was unanimously approved.
The final details for financing the new emergency system radio upgrades were made and agreed to by both the Debt Service Committee and the Budget Committee. The committees agreed that $1.5 million in funding would come from the Debt Service fund balance, and the remaining $1 million would come from unassigned General Fund balance. This means that no new debt is required to fund this project. The funding resolution was unanimously approved by the full commission.
General Fund and Sanitation Fund amendments in the amount of $5,681.16 were needed to clean up a few mistakes in budget calculations. A resolution for this cleanup was unanimously approved. A grant for the partial funding of truck scales for the Sanitation Fund was also approved unanimously. The $25,000 grant will be used with an already budgeted $25,000. The scales will be used at the Recycling Center.
The final resolution of the evening was to appoint Kevin Poore, Sandy Brewer, and Linda Hassler to the Adult-Oriented Establishment Board for four year terms that will expire January 1, 2019. This resolution was also unanimously approved.
Local Option Sales Tax collections for the Board of Education came in at $626,330 against a budgeted projection of $630,241 for a difference of a negative $3,911. For the year, collections are still above projections by $29,143. Property tax collections are at 55 percent of budget, which compares favorably to prior years. Hotel/Motel Tax collections are $389,020 year to date, or 52.9 percent of the $734,738 annual budget. Ambulance collections are at $1,498,820 of a $3,000,000 annual budget. During the last Budget Committee meeting, it was noted that the billing for Ambulance services was behind 2,554 runs. This continues to be a problem, but our third party billing company agreed to help the county to get caught up. There was no charge for this service as the company did it in order to earn their commission in a timely fashion.
The Budget Committee also discussed the shortfall in Prisoner Boarding. According to Tim Claflin, 8th District County Commissioner and Jail Administrator, the County should expect a shortfall of over $550,000 in this line item. This shortfall is caused by a decrease in State prisoners housed at our local jail from a high of up to 85, down to approximately 25 on a continuing basis. No reduction in staff or expenses will result from this change. This is a significant hit to the County budget, but according to Mr. Claflin will result in a safer jail and give more room for local prisoners to serve time. Year to date Prisoner Boarding collections from the State are at $432,234 against an annual budgeted amount of $1,224,885.
Thank you for allowing me to serve the 4th District and Cumberland County. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at any time.
Board of Commissioners
4th District Representative.