SPECIAL MEETING OF CASS COUNTY BOARD OF – InForum


SPECIAL MEETING OF CASS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING IN BUDGET SESSION JULY 26, 2022 1. MEETING CALLED TO ORDER Chairman Rick Steen called the special meeting to order at 8:02 AM on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, with all members present as follows: Rick Steen, Duane Breitling, Jim Kapitan, Mary Scherling, and Chad M. Peterson. Also present was County Finance Director, Brandy Madrigga; County Administrator, Robert Wilson; Senior Accountant Sarah Heinle; and Accountant Gerald Jenson. 2. BUDGET OVERVIEW Brandy Madrigga, County Finance Director provided an overview of the 2023 preliminary budget. Once the preliminary budget is approved, it will be posted on the County website, and a hearing date for the final budget approval will be set and noticed in the newspaper. Additional notices will be sent to taxpayers and entities listing the public hearing dates and times for local jurisdictions. Ms. Madrigga said the County mill levy for 2023 is projected at 47.00 which is 0.75 lower than 2022 as a result of fulfilling general obligation bonds from the Courthouse addition project. She said total revenues for 2023 are expected to be $45.2 million, up 3.2% from 2022. She said the main source of revenues for the general fund is derived by property taxes. Ms. Madrigga said as part of the budgeting process, $50.6 million in revenues have been requested from the general fund for 2023, up 7.8% from 2022. She said 2023 requested expenditures exceed revenues by $5.3 million. She said the increase in expenditures is due to payroll, cost of living adjustment (COLA), and new positions. Ms. Madrigga gave an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Fund, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund, and Building Fund. She said the CARES fund has a balance of $5.2 million and is expected to earn interest until the funds are fully spent. She said the ARPA fund has a balance of $31.3 million and is projected to end 2023 with a balance of $21.3 million after expending funds for a Jail Expansion project. Ms. Madrigga said the Building Fund is funded via a 4.5 mill levy and State Aid Funds transfer from the General Fund. She said the Building Fund projected balance for 2023 is $10.1 million and revenues of $3.7 million to allow for seven County building projects including a new Red River Regional Dispatch Center, potentially purchasing the Robert D Johnson building to the west of the Courthouse and renovating it to suit the needs of an election storage building, remodeling the Highway Administration building, constructing a law enforcement storage building, renovating the Tax Equalization office, and renovating the Annex building. 3. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION Robert Wilson, County Administrator discussed the 2023 Administration budget request. Mr. Wilson said the budget request is consistent with the request from 2022 with the largest increase due to an increase in electricity, gas, and fuel oil to maintain County buildings. He said the County is on a curtailment plan through Excel Energy and in 2022 has seen an increase in the number of times County buildings have had to go into curtailment and may see a similar trend in 2023. Mr. Wilson said other increases are due to salaries, replacing an elevator in the Annex, and a tune up of the boiler at the Jail. Mr. Peterson asked why the salary line item had a large increase compared to 2022. Mr. Steen said each department head used to have their salary and benefits cost in a separate line item within their department. He said with the new budgeting system the department head’s salary and all other employees are combined into one line item, which is skewing cost of salaries compared to last year. Mr. Steen asked what account 4015402, publishing employment for $65,000 is budgeted for. Mr. Wilson said these funds were budgeted in 2022 to complete a County wide ad campaign to show the benefits of working at Cass County and to help withing hiring staff. He said so far in 2022, the County has not engaged an ad campaign firm or done work. He said he budgeted the same amount in 2023 to complete the campaign as the labor market is still volatile. Mr. Steen said the County is deficit spending and the Board needs to find places to cut the budget. Mr. Wilson said $10,000 would be sufficient for advertising positions and would not allow for a full ad campaign. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to amend the Administration 2023 preliminary budget account 4015402 from $65,000 to $10,000 for 2023. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Wilson said the 2023 budget includes a request to add vision insurance as an option for County staff. He said in recent years, many comments on exit interviews have been that the County should offer vision insurance. He said he and staff have worked with the County’s health and dental insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBS) to discuss vision insurance options. He said a plan would be set up similar to the dental plan where the County will pay a flat rate and the employee will pay the remaining amount. He said the 2023 budget includes $50,000 to pay the County’s portion of the plan. Mr. Peterson said the County has discussed adding vision insurance in the past and has never offered a plan because the plan did not have enough benefit to employees to make it worthwhile. Mr. Wilson said the proposed plan looked promising and BCBS is working with the Finance Office on setting the rate. He said the plan being considered has basic coverage of things such as a yearly eye exam, eyeglasses, and contacts. Mr. Steen asked about the plan with Excel Energy for powering County Buildings. He said it depends on the price of fuel oil and having to power generators. He asked if the cost to go onto another plan without curtailment is known. Mr. Wilson said he did not have the cost of another plan, however, he could work with Buildings and Grounds Supervisor, Gene Gartner to find out. Mr. Steen suggested calculating the cost difference of each plan. Mr. Peterson asked how long the contract with Excel is for and if the plan can easily be changed. Mr. Wilson said it is a yearly contract and he will work with Mr. Gartner to seek answers to the discussed questions. 4. HISTORICAL SOCIETY Beth Jansen, Executive Director of the Cass County Historical Society (Bonanzaville) was present to review the 2023 Historical Society budget. The request is $390,000 up from $245,000 in 2022. Ms. Jansen said Bonanzaville has been improving in recent years and is still in need of many repairs. She said the funds from the County will be used to complete deferred maintenance. She said $150,000 of the request is being asked as a matching grant for which she said she already has interested private parties to match the funding. Ms. Jansen said Bonanzaville has increased activities and events to bring in additional revenue and 2022 attendance is up 33%. Mrs. Scherling said she appreciates Bonanzaville and sees their potential for events. She said County taxpayers should not be the primary funding source of Bonanzaville. Mr. Breitling noted the requested amount is over 50% of the request from 2019. Ms. Jansen said Bonanzaville has a smaller budget and larger events than any other historical place in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She said Bonanzaville appreciates its private partners and needs additional funding for repairs. She said Bonanzaville does not get State or Federal funding and has applied for grant funding the past few years and was not successful. Mr. Peterson said he likes the idea of matching funding, however, he believes the requested amount is high. He said he could support matching funds of $50,000. Mr. Steen said he does not want to take away funding and the County is deficit spending and needs to be conservative. MOTION, failed Mr. Peterson moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to amend the Bonanzaville 2023 preliminary budget request to $130,000 and an additional $50,000 in matching grant funds. Discussion: Mr. Steen said he feels the presented amount is too low. On roll call vote, the motion failed with Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Scherling voting “yes”, and Mr. Breitling, Mr. Kapitan, and Mr. Steen voting “no”. Ms. Jansen said the $240,000 is the important funding needed to complete needed repairs. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to amend the Bonanzaville 2023 preliminary budget request to $190,000 and an additional $50,000 in matching funds. Discussion: Mr. Peterson said the County is deficit spending and needs to budget conservatively. On roll call vote, the motion passed with Mr. Breitling, Mr. Kapitan, and Mr. Steen voting “yes”, and Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Scherling voting “no”. 5. WEED CONTROL Stan Wolf, County Weed Control Officer was present to review the 2023 Weed Control budget request. The Cass County Weed Control Board is requesting to maintain the current mill levy at 1.2 mills. Mr. Wolf said in 2022 the Weed Control department changed to having spray contractors bid for the application of herbicides only and the Weed Board purchased enough herbicide to spray 10,000 acres separately. He said some product will be carried over into 2023. Mr. Wolf said the 2023 budget is consistent with the 2022 budget with increases due to inflation. He said no new equipment will be purchased in 2023. Mrs. Scherling asked where the purchased herbicide is stored. Mr. Wolf said the herbicide is stored in climate-controlled, secure storage unit meant for chemicals that the Weed Control Board rents. He said the cost to rent the storage unit is $1,200 per year. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 preliminary budget for Cass County Weed Control as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 6. NDSU EXTENSION SERVICE Rita Ussatis, Cass County Extension Agent for NDSU Extension was present to review the 2023 NDSU Extension Service and Parenting Workshop budget requests. Ms. Ussatis said the request is consistent with previous years requests, up slightly from 2022 with no major changes. She said the increases are due to staff salaries and workshop expenses. Mr. Peterson asked what the COLA for State employees will be for 2023. Ms. Ussatis said 5% was used for budgeting purposes and the final number will be set at the upcoming legislative session. She said she anticipates the actual increase to be closer to 1% as it has been in the past. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to approve the 2023 preliminary budget for NDSU Extension and Parenting Workshop as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 7. COUNTY CORONER Kristie Ross, County Coroner was present to review the 2023 Coroner’s Department budget. Ms. Ross said the 2023 budget request has two main increases; one due to rising cost of supplies and two a request to change a part time death investigator position into a full-time position. She said the cost of moving the position from part time to full time is an annual salary cost of $25,288 to $52,380 and from a classification B23 to C34. Mr. Steen asked why there was an increase in the amount of salaries from 2022 to 2023 from $226,000 to $321,000. Ms. Heinle said there was an error in the calculation when it was pulled from the payroll system, the full-time salary was included twice in the 2023 budgeted amount. She said she would correct the error and the salary budget would decrease by $52,000. Mr. Steen said he believes this same error exists in the Sheriff’s Department salaries budget. He said the Board should come back to this budget tomorrow after the error is corrected. 8. RECORDER Deb Moeller, County Recorder was present to review the 2023 Recorder’s Office budget. Ms. Moeller said the budget figures for 2023 are based on document counts in the first half of 2022. She said revenues are anticipated to exceed expenses. She said the main increases in the 2023 budget are due to the raising costs of supplies and services in addition to $1,800 for a Deputy Recorder to attend the virtual National Association of Counties High Performance Leadership Academy. She said the 2023 budget is based on the Recorder’s Office having 10 full time staff members, however, after a long-time clerk retires at the end of the month Ms. Moeller does not intend to fill the position unless document counts surpass 200 per day. Mr. Steen said the Board needs to find places to cut the budget. He said the position should be removed from the budget if it is not intended to be utilized. MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to amend the 2023 Recorder’s Office preliminary budget to remove the cost of the position that will not be utilized. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. NDRIN Fund Counties across the State are members of the North Dakota Recorders Information Network (NDRIN), a fund that is self-supporting through dollars generated from subscriber and copy fees. Ms. Moeller said NDRIN remains a consistent revenue source for North Dakota Counties, however, will likely see a dip in 2023 due to increasing interest rates. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 NDRIN preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Document Preservation Fund Revenues from the Document Preservation Fund are generated through a fee per document collected by the County Recorder when documents are filed. Ms. Moeller said the 2023 budget includes carry over funds from 2022 to complete projects to scan tax lists and assessments from the Finance Office. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to approve the 2023 Document Preservation preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 911 Fund The 911 Service Fund is funded by 911 fees on both cell service and land line service. Of the fees collected, 5% goes to the North Dakota Association of Counties to pay for the Next Generation 911 Network Transition Project and the State imposes a 50-cent fee for each line for the Statewide Interoperable Radio Network Fund. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 911 Service Fund preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Debt Service Fund Ms. Heinle said the 2010 Courthouse addition bonds and Grandbergs Subdivision Special Assessment bonds will be completed in 2022. She said the bonds remaining in the fund are from 2017 for the Wild Rice Estates Special Assessment which runs until 2035. MOTION, passed Mrs. Scherling moved and Mr. Peterson seconded to approve the 2023 Debt Service Funds preliminary budgets as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Internal Services The Internal Services fund include the Health Insurance Fund, the Dental Insurance Fund, the Technology Trust Fund, and the Motor Pool Fund. Ms. Heinle said BCBS has recommended an 8% increase in Health Insurance costs and is included in the 2023 budget. She said there was no change in Dental Insurance. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to approve the 2023 Internal Service Fund preliminary budgets as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 9. BREAK The Commission took a break at 9:56 and reconvened at 10:19 AM. 10. WATER RESOURCE DISTRICTS Carol Lewis, Secretary-Treasurer for the Cass County Water Resource Districts was present via Microsoft Teams to review the 2023 Water Resource District budget request. Southeast Cass Water Resource District will levy 2.19 mills, remaining unchanged from 2022; Rush River Water Resource District will levy 4.00 mills, remaining unchanged from 2022; Maple River Water Resource District will levy 3.00 mills, remaining unchanged from 2022; North Cass Water Resource District will levy 4.00 mills, remaining unchanged from 2022. Each district will also levy and 1.50 mills for the Red River Joint Water Resource District. MOTION, passed Mrs. Scherling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 Water Resource District preliminary budgets as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 11. VETERAN’S SERVICE Chris Deery, Veteran’s Service Officer was present to review the 2023 Veteran’s Service budget. Mr. Deery said his office is fully staffed and accredited. He said the 2023 budget request is consistent with previous years with the largest request being $11,000 for a new office printer. He said the printer would allow the Veteran’s Service Office to print informational brochures for clients. MOTION, passed Mrs. Scherling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 Veteran’s Service preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 12. SHERIFF’S OFFICE County Sheriff Jesse Jahner, Chief Deputy Dean Haaland, Captain Andy Frobig, and Lieutenant Katie Fuller were present to review the 2023 Sheriff’s Department budget request. Mr. Jahner said the 2023 budget is approximately $438,203 over the 2022 budget for a total request of approximately $7.5 million. He said the City of Horace is requesting an additional full-time deputy to serve the Horace area and the City of Relie’s Acres is requesting a part time deputy. Mr. Steen asked what cities the County has contracts with currently and how the County is reimbursed for costs. Mr. Jahner said the City of Horace currently contracts for 2 deputies, the City of Casselton contracts for 2 deputies, the City of Kindred contracts for a 20-hour part time deputy, and the City of Mapleton contracts for a 10-hour part time deputy. He said each city pays for the salary and benefits for their contracted deputy and the County pays for the equipment and other expenses. Mrs. Scherling said the County should reevaluate the contracts with the cities to cost share equipment and maintenance. She asked what the cost of outfitting a new deputy is. Mr. Jahner said a rough estimate would be $80,000. MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to approve reevaluating the Sheriff Policing Contracts with Cities. Discussion: Mr. Peterson suggested the Board should give further guidance on what should be reevaluated. Mr. Steen said deputy’s equipment is replaced every 4 to 5 years, a total cost of the equipment should be calculated and figured over a 5-year period and assessed to the Cities. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Jahner said each division submitted their budget to the Sheriff and Chief Deputy Haaland and from there, the Sheriff cut $118,00 from the 2023 budget. He said the budget includes a request for 2 additional court transport officers to assist in transporting juveniles from the juvenile detention facility in Clay County to appointments and court hearings in Cass County. Mrs. Scherling asked if the County pays Clay County to transport juveniles currently. Mr. Wilson said Clay County provides transportation, however, the transporters are not licensed officers. He said there was an incident last year where a juvenile escaped custody that raised concerns for Cass County. Mrs. Scherling asked if one person would be adequate. Mr. Jahner said no, transport officers are often sent in pairs. Ms. Fuller said the two additional officers would be used for the juvenile transport, and on other transports and in courtrooms. She said currently, the Court Transport Supervisor is having to do transports due to high demand and not enough staff to cover. She said juveniles need to be transported into Cass County approximately 5 times per week and this number could increase if court cases go back to being held in person as they have been held virtually the past two years. Mr. Jahner said the 2023 budget request is based on gas being $6 per gallon in anticipation of rising gas prices. Mr. Steen said $6 per gallon of gas seems high and believes gas prices are decreasing. Mr. Jahner said an adjustment could be made. He said the 2022 expenditure of gas is over budget due to recent gas prices increases. He said each deputy averages approximately 200 miles per shift. Mr. Steen said maybe the number of miles used to figure the estimate needs to be adjusted rather than the price of gas. Mr. Peterson asked what the Sheriff’s Department is requesting for new vehicles as part of the 2023 budget. Mr. Jahner said the Sheriff’s Department will be selling 10 old vehicles and requesting to purchase 10 new vehicles and 1 motorcycle. He said the motorcycle will be used for deputies to take an advanced motorcycle course. MOTION, passed Mr. Steen moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to reduce the fuel cost as part of the Sheriff’s 2023 preliminary budget by $60,000. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Peterson said the Sheriff’s Department staff should present an estimate for Deputy equipment and a proposal to increase the deputy contracts with cities and bring the proposal back to the Commission for approval, and the updated contracts can then go out to cities. Mr. Jahner said the County and Cities receive benefits from having deputies in these cities and is important to maintain good relationships. MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to add the revenue from current Sheriff Policing Contracts with Cities to the 2023 Sheriff’s Department preliminary budget. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Breitling said all the workers compensation budget figures for each department are high. Ms. Heinle said the percent change is recommended by the State each year. She said the estimate can be changed to whatever the Board would like. MOTION, failed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to reduce the workers compensation budget by 50% for each department budget. Discussion: Mr. Peterson said he would be more comfortable to make a large change until the end of budget hearings to see where the budget comes out. Mr. Steen said he believes cutting workers compensation by 50% is too high. He said he may support a smaller decrease. On roll call vote, the motion failed with Mr. Breitling voting “yes”, and Mr. Kapitan, Mr. Steen, Mr. Peterson, and Mrs. Scherling voting “no”. 13. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Jim Prochniak, County Emergency Manager was present to review the 2023 Emergency Management budget. Mr. Prochniak said the total budget request, not including salary and benefits is $259,228 and includes an increase in funds for emergency generator repair, education and travel, general office supplies, gas, office equipment and the largest increase for the purchase of a new vehicle. Hazardous Preparedness and Response Fund Mr. Prochniak said the 2023 budget request is consistent with prior years. MOTION, passed Mrs. Scherling moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to approve the 2023 Emergency Management and Hazardous Preparedness and Response Fund preliminary budgets as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 14. BREAK The Commission took a break 11:52 AM at and reconvened at 12:26 PM. 15. TAX DIRECTOR Paul Fracassi, County Director of Equalization was present to review the 2023 Tax Director budget. Mr. Fracassi said the 2023 budget request includes no major changes. He said the Tax Equalization Department has made a request to reorganize or remodel the Tax Equalization office space. He said the Tax Equalization Office would like to consider moving across the hall from its current location on the first floor of the Courthouse into the old Commission Room. He said the office remodel is currently budgeted in the Building Fund for $55,000 and he would like to work with a vendor to see what can be accomplished within the budgeted funds. MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mrs. Scherling seconded to approve 2023 Tax Director preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 16. FINANCE OFFICE Ms. Madrigga presented the 2023 budget for the Finance Office. The Finance budget consists of revenues and expenses from the Finance Office, Cemetery Fund, and Election Fund. Ms. Madrigga said low interest rates have led to a decrease in interest revenues for 2022 and are projected to continue in 2023. She said increases to the 2023 budget request include expenses for office supplies, notices in the newspaper, trainings, and an additional office cubicle. She said the Cemetery Fund 2023 budget request includes a 4% increase in the salary of the Cemetery Caretaker, which amounts to approximately $20 per month. Ms. Madrigga said the 2023 Election Fund budget includes $30,000 for hiring election temporary workers and $4,000 for overtime pay. She said 2023 is not an election year and therefore the $34,000 will not likely be used. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to cut the 2023 Election Fund preliminary budget by $34,000 for temporary employees and overtime pay. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Ms. Madrigga said a large request in the Election Fund budget is the purchase of Ballot on Demand (BOD) printers. She said the BOD printers utilize blank ballot stock and would be used to print off a ballot when needed. She said currently with the Express Vote machines the County wastes thousands of preprinted ballots per election. She said the cost of the BOD printers is approximately $6,000 each. Mr. Peterson asked what the specialty of the printer is. County Information Technology Director, Bob Henderson was present and said the BOD printers utilize a universal transfer card that is encrypted and can only be used with a BOD printer and laptop. He said the ballot data is saved to the transfer card, inserted into the BOD printer, and the printer prints the data line by line onto the blank ballot paper. Mr. Peterson asked if there is more than one vendor that sells the BOD printers. Mr. Henderson said the North Dakota Secretary of State approves the vendors the County can use. Mr. Steen asked how many printers are needed. Ms. Madrigga said the budget request is for 40 printers that would serve 10 vote centers and one printer in the Finance Office for absentee voting. Mr. Henderson said the purpose of the BOD printers is to be able to print any ballot style at any voting location to eliminate running out of ballots and having runners get ballots from the warehouse or Courthouse to voting centers. He said having more than one printer at each vote center is important to keep length of lines down at vote centers as it takes minutes to print a ballot. Mr. Steen said 2023 is not an election year and asked why the purchase is being requested in 2023. Ms. Madrigga said the Finance Office would like to implement the BOD printers on a non-election year for staff to have adequate time to learn and set up the equipment. Mr. Steen suggested the County could purchase a small number of BOD printers in 2023 to implement and train before an election year and purchase the rest in a future year. Mr. Henderson said he would recommend purchasing all the BOD printers at once to ensure they are all the same model as the printers may not be exactly the same year to year. Ms. Madrigga said she would like to have 10 to 15 BOD printers purchased to start implementation. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to reduce the budget amount for the ballot on demand printers to $66,000 as part of the 2023 Election Fund preliminary budget. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 Finance preliminary budget as amended. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 17. STATE’S ATTORNEY Burch Burdick, County State’s Attorney was present to review the 2023 State’s Attorney budget. Mr. Burdick said the 2023 budget request is similar to prior year requests. He said a proposed correction to the submitted budget is to add $2,000 to the overtime salaries item for victim witness coordinators. He said the budget request includes $15,000 to outfit third floor State’s Attorney staff with sit to stand desks. He said the budget also includes an increase in fees for client services due to the increase in fees for expert witness fees in child welfare cases. Mr. Steen asked what account 4011020 hourly salaries is used for. Mr. Burdick said the account was used to fill a law clerk position each summer as an internship type position that is typically filled by a University of North Dakota University Law School Student. Ms. Heinle said with the new payroll system, the 1020 account does not exist and the budget salary is included with all other staff salaries at $9,000. Mr. Peterson asked Mr. Burdick if he is comfortable with current staffing levels and the budget amount for the incoming State’s Attorney as Mr. Burdick will be retiring at the end of 2022. Mr. Burdick said he believes the salary range, particularly the top end of the range should be evaluated. He said the two candidates running for the State’s Attorney position have about 15 years of experience in the State’s Attorney office. MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 State’s Attorney preliminary budget with an amendment to increase account 4011035, Overtime Salaries from $500 to $2,500. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. Asset Forfeiture Fund and Civil Asset Forfeiture Fund Mr. Burdick said the 2020 legislative session changed the assess forfeiture process, funds are approved through the courts, then through a committee, before being distributed to law enforcement agencies. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to approve the 2023 State’s Attorney Civil Asset Forfeiture Fund and Civil Asset Forfeiture Fund preliminary budget as presented. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 18. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Mr. Henderson presented the 2023 IT budget. He said the 2023 budget includes $10,000 for consulting fees, a $25,000 decrease from 2022; $17,500 in maintenance agreements for network equipment, a $24,700 decrease from 2022; and $45,000 in network upgrades, a decrease of $255,000 from 2022. He said the network upgrades include projects to upgrade the audio and visual equipment in the Annex’s Bison Room which is used for training and meetings, and adding a firewall between the County’s network and the Red River Regional Dispatch Center’s network to provide an additional layer of defense in the event of a cyber incident. Mr. Henderson said the 2023 budget request also includes an increase in funds for training and education to better equip IT staff. Mr. Henderson said he would like to request account 4016104 for operational supplies be changed from $8,100 to $18,000 for the current year projection due to adding some cabling to the basement of the Courthouse that is being used for the Agassiz Valley Human Service Zone. MOTION, passed Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to approve the 2023 Information Technology preliminary budget amended to increase account 4016104 for operational supplies from $8,100 to $18,000. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 19. OTHER DISCUSSION Mr. Steen said the County had been deficit spending the past few years and will soon have to make difficult decisions. Mrs. Scherling said the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) recommendation is based on the April-to-April consumer price index (CPI) for the upper Midwest. She suggested the Board look at another method of determining the CPI such as a 5-year average of the CPI rather than a 1-year figure. Mr. Peterson said he would like to see the Board get through all the budgets and funds and then at the end of the day tomorrow decide on the COLA. Mr. Steen said he understands Mr. Peterson’s logic, however, does not want to put the entire budget on the outcome of employee salaries. 20. RECESS The meeting recessed at 1:58 PM until Wednesday, July 27, 2022 beginning at 8:00 AM. ATTEST: ___________________ Brandy Madrigga, County Finance Director Cass County, North Dakota APPROVED: ___________________ Rick Steen, Chairman Cass County Board of Commissioners (Aug. 17, 2022) 91317





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