August 19 and 20, 2009 Budget Hearings
2010 Ward County Department Budget hearings
August 19, 2009
Chairman Christianson called the committee of the whole for the 2010 Ward County department budget requests to order at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 19, 2009. Present were Comms. Fjeldahl, Erickson and Nybakken. Also present was Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad.
Veterans Service Office Dale Braun appeared to present his budget request.
Jail Commander Penny Erickson then appeared to present her department budget request. P. Erickson noted that if she were to cut her budget it would be in the training and equipment purchases line items.
Sheriff Vern Erck then appeared to present his budget request. Sheriff Erck’s budget included two new patrol deputies, one of which is funded by a COPS grant, which includes an increase in the benefits and radio, uniform & services line items.
Emergency Manager Al Reynolds then appeared with his budget request. Reynolds informed the Board that there had been an increase in the Emergency Management Planning Grant that he would be receiving, which would help off-set any expenses in his budget.
Director of Tax Equalization Mike Vendsel then appeared regarding his 2010 department budget request. Vendsel also informed the Board that Ward County may want to consider the addition of planning/zoning director or another assessor for his office.
Smestad presented the E-911 budget which will be completely funded from the wired and wireless phone fees. This represents a cut of approximately 4 mills from the City and County budgets.
Building Services Supervisor Ron Overly then appeared. After reviewing Overly’s department budget, he was directed to obtain estimates to paint the exterior of the County North Building.
Superintendent of Schools Jodi Johnson then appeared with her budget.
Smestad then presented the Commissioner’s budget and discussed the Office supplies, equipment and maintenance budgets.
Recorder Sheila Dalen then appeared to present the budget request for the County Recorder.
Extension Agent Mike Rose then appeared with his department’s budget.
At 3:11 p.m. Comm. Fjeldahl left the meeting.
Joan Anderson, with Rehab Services, then appeared regarding her budget request.
At 3:16 p.m. Comm. Fjeldahl rejoined the meeting.
At 3:25 p.m. the Board recessed.
At 3:30 p.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Christianson, Erickson & Nybakken present.
Smestad then presented the Ward County Council on Aging/Senior Citizens budget request.
Weed Control Officer Derrill Fick then appeared with the budget for his department.
Smestad then presented the Auditor/Treasurer department budget; the general miscellaneous; Emergency; and Insurance Reserve funds.
At 4:37 p.m. the Board recessed until 8:30 a.m. on August 20, 2009.
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2010 Budget Hearing
August 20, 2009
Chairman Christianson called the committee of the whole back in session at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 20, 2009 with Comms. Fjeldahl, Erickson and Nybakken present.
Highway Engineer Dana Larsen appeared to present the Farm to Market and Road Operations budgets as well as the Rushville Township and Ward County Park District budgets.
Juvenile Detention Director Allison Hughes then appeared with her department’s budget. Hughes reduced the following items in her budget: Medical to $830; Prisoner/Juvenile Board to $8,000; and Travel to $650.
State's Attorney Roza Larson then appeared to present her budget request.
At 9:25 a.m. Comm. Fjeldahl left the meeting.
At 9:26 a.m. Comm. Fjeldahl returned to the meeting.
R. Larson offered to reduce the following items in her budget: laptop & desktop computers to $2,500 and TV monitor to $300.
Library Director Julie Burkhart then appeared to present her budget.
The following then appeared to present the various Economic Development Corporation’s 2010 budget requests: Terry Zeltinger, DeSour Valley; Bob Inman, Berthold; Troy Peterson, Carpio; and Jerry Chavez, Minot. All present were informed that their total budget requests were $3,073 over the maximum allowed by statute and that reductions would be discussed after all departments had been heard from.
At 10:18 a.m. the Board recessed.
At 10:20 a.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Christianson, Erickson and Nybakken present.
The Board then heard from the following Historical Society groups in Ward County: Bryan Quigley, Lake County; David Jones, Ward County; and David Kraft from Ryder.
Ward County Water Resource Board President John Pietsch then appeared with the Water Resource Board’s request for funds. Also present was the Water Resource Board Engineer Alan Estvold.
Pat Murphy from the Weather Modification Authority then appeared to present their budget request for 2010. Also present was Board member Hank Bodmer.
Social Services Director Dan Richter then appeared to present the 2010 Social Services budget request. Also present were Cleo Berven and Connie Zieske.
At 11:54 a.m. the Board recessed.
At 12:07 p.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Christianson, Erickson and Nybakken present.
The Board then reviewed each budget request and made the following changes: Commissioner Contingency – reduce to $30,000; Other repairs, improvements & maintenance contracts reduce by $125,000; Historical Societies – allocate $3,500 to Makoti; $4,400 to Ryder; $4,500 to Lake County; and $24,000 to Ward County.
At 12:25 p.m. Comm. Erickson left the meeting.
At 12:29 p.m. Comm. Erickson returned to the meeting.
The Board continued to review each budget and made the following changes: Development Corporations – allocated $9,500 to Berthold; $7,100 to DeSour Valley; $1,100 to Carpio; $17,500 to Kenmare; $1,000 to Makoti; $42,436 to Minot; and $500 to Ward County for County advertising. A reduction to the Souris Basin Planning Council of $1,300 was made due to removing the Minot Air Force Base population (4100) from the per capita request; the Emergency fund was reduced to $160,000 with a suggestion that that amount be levied until the fund reaches 5 mills; the Extension Service PT Livestock Assistant position was reduced to $8,000.
Chairman Christianson and Comm. Fjeldahl will review the First District Health Unit estimated mill value per county to see why some counties experienced a decrease in their valuations.
The Juvenile Detention budget was reviewed with reductions made in the Medical line item to $830; Prisoner/Juvenile board to $8,000 and travel to $650.
Smestad informed the Board that corrected information had been received from the City of Minot and their central dispatch operations request was reduced to $700,100, but that no mills would be levied for this department as it would be funded completely by the 9-1-1 wired fees collected by the County.
Smestad also informed the Board that the Park Board budget would have a slight reduction due to the 1 mill levy limitation.
The Board then reduced the Sheriff’s budget by 1 deputy position, which in turn would affect the benefits; radio, uniform & services; and the auto purchase line items.
Discussion was then held on the Social Service budget request. Chairman Christianson directed Smestad to inform Richter that he would need to reduce his budget by $200,000 in any area of his choosing before the September 1 preliminary budget approval.
Discussion was held on the State's Attorney budget reducing the laptop & desktop computer line item to $2,500 and the TV monitor line item to $300.
Smestad informed the Board that the Water Resource Board budget would need to be reduced by approximately $5,000 due to a mill levy limitation. Comm. Fjeldahl questioned if they needed the full four mills due to increased cost participation by the State Water Commission that was not planned on. Chairman Christianson stated that it could be reduced prior to accepting the preliminary budget on September 1.
Smestad informed the Board that the Weed Control budget retirement line item could be reduced by $5,362 due to a calculation error and then the travel budget was reduced by $1,000.
Smestad informed the Board that the revenue pages would be significantly changed due to the receipt of several grants, some of which she had not been aware prior to the department hearings, such as the COPS grant for the Sheriff’s Office; JAB grant for the Juvenile Detention; and an increase in the EMP grant for Emergency Management.
At 1:46 p.m. with no further business the committee of the whole adjourned.
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED THIS 1st DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2009.
s/ Bruce I Christianson
Chairman, Ward County Board of Commissioners
s/ Devra Smestad
Auditor/Treasurer, Ward County
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