The Howard County Council met,
The meeting was called to order by Sheriff Marshall Talbert and conducted by Vice President James Papacek.
The minutes of the
IN THE MATTER OF ORDINANCE NO. 2003-HCC-19 ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS:
No. 2003-HCC-19 was read in full for the first time by
APPROPRIATION ADDITIONS REQUESTED:
005 HOWARD COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT:
3726 Service Contracts $ 2,397.00 $ 2,397.00
IN THE MATTER OF RESOLUTION NO. 2003-HCC-09 -- TRANSFERS:
Resolution No. 2003-HCC-09 addressing requested transfers was presented and read in full for Council information and review. The following actions were taken:
FROM: TO: REQUESTED: ALLOWED:
510 HOWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS GRANT FUND:
1116 Day Reporting Coord. 1118 Field Officer $ 129.84 $ 129.84
1116 Day Reporting Coord. 1580 PE.R.F. $ 1,700.00 $ 1,700.00
1520 Insurance 1500 F.I.C.A. $ 1,800.00 $ 1,800.00
Community Corrections Director Steve Maus said money came up short for one of the Field Officers. There was excess money available when a Day Reporting Coordinator took an extended Family Medical Leave of Absence. These are clean-up items from his July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003 budget.
Mr. Singer made a motion to approve the transfers as requested in the line items listed above. Mr. Ortman seconded the motion, which carried.
IN THE MATTER OF SALARY ORDINANCE NO. 2003-HCC-20 – AMENDING THE EXISTING SALARY ORDINANCE FOR 2003:
A motion was made by Mr. Singer, seconded by Mr. Ortman, and carried to approve Amended Salary Ordinance 2003-HCC-20 as read. The amended salaries, any changed position titles and all other pertinent information is shown as follows:
# POSITIONS/SALARY REQUEST: APPROVED: YTD:
POSITION/NUMBER/SALARY REQUEST: APPROVED: YTD:
105 HOWARD COUNTY ADULT PROBATION USER FEES FUND:
1116 Part-time -0- $ 4,500.00 $ 4,500.00 $ 4,500.00
138 HOWARD COUNTY C.A.S.A. PROGRAM FUND:
1115 Part-time $ 6,500.00 $ 6,500.00 $ 6,500.00
Budget Year February 1, 2003 through January 31st, 2004
170 HOWARD COUNTY SOIL AND WATER GRANT FUND:
1111 Watershed Resource Technician -0- $ 14,800.00 $14,800.00 $14,800.00
1119 Caseworker (FT) $ 13,500.00 $13,500.00 $13,500.00
1121 Pt. Time/Overtime $ 40,000.00 $40,000.00 $40,000.00
1118 Field Officer 2@$$21,356=$42,714 +$ 129.84 +$ 129.84 $42,843.84
IN THE MATTER OF SENATE BILL 400 UPDATE:
County Welfare Director Glynn Hipp, together with Honorable Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray presented an update to the Council regarding the current status of both numbers and finances of the Family and Children Fund Budget.
According to 1997 legislation, the County Juvenile Judge, along with the County Welfare Director must meet with the County Fiscal Body, twice annually, to review the expenditures from the Family and Children Fund. The legislation also allows for the enactment of an “early intervention team” plan.
Probation took some steps to try to reduce costs such as using foster families more frequently instead of institutions. This method reduced the number of children in institutions from about 27 to 23. Probation currently has 4 children in foster care and the Division of Family and Children has 45.
Federal reimbursement is received based upon the financial eligibility of the children and families. The eligibility work for Federal reimbursements was moved from the Child Welfare section to the Public Assistance section because they are more experienced with those types of procedures. As a result, the reimbursement increased by almost $200,000.00 last year. Due to these changes, the operating balance will still be able to pay the bills at the end of June. Mr. Hipp said if the revenues come in as anticipated and tax disbursements are received, a loan or floating bond will not be necessary.
Due to the economy, public assistance caseloads increased to 3,300 families, nearing a record set in the mid-1980’s of 3,500. There are approximately 900 families on TANIF. There are about 8,000 people on Medicaid Programs. In order to rebuild the operating balance, Mr. Hipp predicts that he will need to request the maximum amount of levy for the next two years. In the interim, the intervention team will be looking at various ways and projects to cut expenses. The following programs are already being underway:
\ Juvenile Probation has instituted a Drug Court for juveniles. In the past there was an issue with recidivism when some juveniles released from the Fairbanks Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Program had to return because they did not receive the support that they needed in the community. The local Mental Health Center has improvised a follow up treatment program for those juveniles in an effort to prevent the recidivism.
\ A joint project will be implemented in November 2003 between the Mental Health Center, Juvenile Probation, and the Division of Family and Children. Some children especially need to be institutionalized. This includes, but is not limited to, a chronic fire setter, a molested child or child that has a history of molesting. These children that need 24-hour surveillance pose a risk to a regular foster home. A Request for Proposals was sent out to companies that provide therapeutic foster care. Four responses have been received and are being evaluated. Children moved out of an institutional facility to therapeutic foster care will have a better environment and it is less expensive than the institutional costs.
Mr. Hipp said there is one upcoming issue that might affect the tax levy for the Family and Children Fund. It is a part of the State Budget Bill that requires a creation of a Children’s Psychiatric Residential Treatment Services Fund. It sets part of the money aside from the Family and Children Fund to be matched for Medicaid for children placed in institutions. On a positive note, it is possible that Federal reimbursement will be received (via Medicaid) for some of the children who do not qualify for any other Federal reimbursement. Conversely, private physicians will be allowed to place children in institutions provided the children meet all of the requirements and conditions. Mr. Hipp stated, at this time it is difficult to predict the effect that these changes will have.
Mr. Papacek asked if there are an adequate number of individuals that serve as foster parents. Mr. Hipp replied that Howard County has approximately 12 foster parents but it would be better to have at least 25 available.
IN THE MATTER OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT ISSUE:
Health Administrator Kristine Conyers submitted a request to increase the amount of cash in the change drawers. Since First National Bank moved the Health Department has difficulty retaining changeable bills, especially in the afternoon. Therefore a request was made for an appropriation of $40.00 from the Health Department Fund to increase money in change for drawers in the Vital Records and Nursing offices as follows:
Current Change Increase To Authorization Of:
Vital Records $20.00 $50.00 + $30.00
Nursing Office $10.00 $20.00 + $10.00
Mr. Singer made a motion to authorize the Health Department to increase the amount of cash/change drawer funds for Vital Records and the Nursing Office as outlined above. Mr. Ellison seconded the motion, and it carried.
IN THE MATTER OF CUMULATIVE BRIDGE FUND:
Mr. Singer made a motion to set the maximum levy amount of the Cumulative Bridge Fund at $550,000.00 and ratify and confirm Mr. Miller’s signature on the letter to the Department of Local Government Finance. Mr. Shearer seconded the motion, which carried.
IN THE MATTER OF MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Sheriff Marshall Talbert informed the Council that an inspection of the County Officers and equipment would be conducted on May 29th, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. at the Howard County Criminal Justice Center. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure the equipment is being maintained in serviceable condition at acceptable levels. It has been a number of years since this type of inspection has been conducted. Sheriff Talbert invited the Council members to stop by and witness the procedure.
2. New Vehicles for Sheriff’s Department: The Chevrolet Impala and Prisoner Transport Van were parked outside in the County Parking Lot for the Council’s review.
3. Council members received an invitation to an open house on Saturday, June 28th, 2003 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. for the new Parry Law Office and Dispute Resolution Center at 210 N. Main St.
4. The new tax rates for 2003 and the net assessed values, approved by the State that set the tax rates, were distributed to Council members. Similar information from last year was provided in order to compare the differences. Auditor Martha Lake advised that Howard County’s assessed values increased about $1 billion. Tax rates have decreased. Changes were made to property tax replacement credit, and the homestead credit. Personal property tax replacement credit was not affected.
MARTHA J. LAKE, AUDITOR
County Council Minutes, May 27th, 2003