Commonwealth of Massachusetts
COUNTY OF DUKES COUNTY
ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
August 13, 2009
Members Present: Arthur Smadbeck – Edgartown 35.96%
Jeff Kristal – Tisbury 14.86%
Frank Fenner – Chilmark 15.070%
Also present: County Commissioners: Melinda Loberg, Lenny Jason
County Manager Russell H. Smith
County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders
Exec. Assistant Martina Thornton
Sarah Kuh, VHCAP
Mr. Smadbeck called the meeting to order at 3:00pm.
Public Hearing on FY2010 County Budget
Noreen presented the CAB with the draft #9 of the FY2010 budget that was approved by the County Commissioners on July 8, 2009. She said that the Sheriff’s Bill was signed by the Governor last Thursday. The #9 budget that you saw before had the County paid for the fist quarter of the Sheriff’s retirees’ life insurance and we billed the Sheriff $24K for it. The County will be responsible for paying the retiree health & life insurance until 1/1/2010, which puts the budget out of balance and it was agreed with the Sheriff that we will bill the Sheriff for it.
Discussion about funding of the Vineyard Health Care Access Program (VHCAP) followed. Sarah Kuh said that her funding changed due to a loss of state grants by about $200K. That is why she asked for extra funds on the second warrant article. FY2009 was the first year the first year that he budget was split 50/50 with the towns and the budget was about $90K. FY2010 budget will be 60% paid by towns and 40% paid by County on the first warrant article and the 50/50 formula on the second warrant article.
Noreen said since the Sheriff’s bill has been signed that as of January 1, 2010 the CAB will be the final approving body for the County Budget. The County used to get 47.5 cents of each $1 Deeds Excise collected, of which 75% was for the Sheriff, 15% for the County and 10% to the Registry of Deeds. Now all but 10.625% will go to the Commonwealth. The 10.625% will be split so that 60% goes to the County and 40% to Registry of Deeds. Tim Madden and Russell are working on making sure that the buildings that will not be used for Sheriff’s functions in the future will go back to the County at a nominal fee. Section 14 of the Bill is saying that the non-union Sheriff’s employees will not be transferred over to the State’s retirement system until November 1, 2010. Section 19 says that the retirees’ health insurance should be
transferred over to the State. We will bill the Sheriff for the retirees until they are transferred. There will be an actuary study about how much the Sheriff’s unfunded pension liability will be, which will be then paid from the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) after we first take the unfunded other benefits share of the Sheriff’s retirees like life insurance. The MOE will stay at the 2009 level. Once the unfunded retirement liability is paid off the town assessment can be lower. At that time the 2.5% increase that the County can get each year will be only on the remaining assessment.
The revenue for FY2009 came in about $2,022,000 we were expecting $1,916,000, the expenses came at $1,888,000, which leaves us with excel of revenue of about $134K. Of which $79K was a special payment from the Cape & Islands license plates. This will go to the unreserved fund balance. The adjustments to the budget approved by the DCC are putting the budget $22K in surplus.
Animal Shelter is running in black from donations only. Russell said that so far we received $50K in and $20K out in donation. If needed, we will take money out of the reserve fund and then go to towns for a long-term plan. If the shelter is run under the County it could receive public funds, which is not the case if it becomes a non-profit organization. Art was not in favor of a new county department. Russell said that if it looks that they can run from donations only, then they can create a non-profit and go on their own. The county has a lease as tenants-at-will for one year at no cost. Russell said he would like to secure the house in the front as an additional source of income to support the animal shelter operation. Jeff said that if it is privatized it would allow them to do retail as well, which could help with
the funding. Frank said that there is a regional need for the shelter and the County did step up and will be running it for at least a year. Jeff said that the towns agreed to fund it, but they would like quarterly reports. He would also like the County to look into if there would be savings to the towns if the County would regionalize the animal control officers. Art said Edgartown would not be interested it that. Lenny said that the towns should come up with the long-term plan not the County as the towns asked the County to run it for now. It is a service needed on the island and it should be secured to be here for the island residents. Russell will update them after 6 months at the next all island selectmen’s meeting. Noreen said that it is better if the animal shelter stays out of the general fund. The funding for it from the towns could be different than the equalized valuation formula.
Noreen said there is about $2300 in the Charter Study fund that could go back to the general fund after the FY2009 audit.
Discussion about other individual adjustments to the FY2010 budget that were not discussed by the DCC yet with the difference totaling about $4K. On the expense side there are little adjustments for things like telephone, travel inside state etc. The total budget after all the adjustments would be $4,969K in revenue and $4,943K on the expense site.
Frank/Jeff moved to approve the budget adjustments as presented. All in favor (Edgartown, Tisbury, Chilmark).
New contract was negotiated with the Trustees of Reservations for $45K for next year.
Meeting adjourned at 4:20pm.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
- Letter from Executive Office for Administration and Finance that the Supplemental Budget for FY209 had been approved by the County Government Finance Review Board.