August 18, 2010 Budget Hearings
2011 Ward County Department Budget Hearings
August 18, 2010
Chairman Christianson called the committee of the whole for the 2011 Ward County department budget requests to order at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2010. Present were Comms. Fjeldahl, Gruenberg, Erickson and Nybakken. Also present was Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad.
Veterans Service Officer Dale Braun appeared to present his budget.
Building Supervisor Ron Overly then appeared. He stated the increase in his budget request over last year included maintenance on the west lot and paving the north lot. A new garage door for the jail will be needed.
Discussion was held on the impact of the salary study on departmental budgets. Per Board action, a 5% increase is part of the budget. Christianson commented he would like to see a total of all the county salaries.
Highway Engineer Dana Larsen appeared to present the Highway Department budget, Rushville Township budget and Ward County Park District budget. Larsen noted the Highway Department budget was down from last year. He requested two new operator positions. He stated the Park District budget was essentially the same as last year and the changes to Rushville’s budget were a result of the windmills.
Weed Control Officer Derrill Fick then appeared.
Extension Agent Mike Rose appeared to present his budget.
At 9:22 a.m. Comm. Fjeldahl left meeting.
At 9:27 a.m. Comm. Fjeldahl returned to the meeting.
Director of Tax Equalization Mike Vendsel appeared. He noted the increases over last year were from the creation of the Building Inspector/Zoning position and the Vanguard verification.
Emergency Manager Al Reynolds appeared and noted Emergency Management Program Grant pays for 50% employee costs, benefits, and contract if it is not covered by another grant.
At 9:52 a.m. the Board recessed.
At 10:14 a.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Gruenberg, Christianson, Erickson, and Nybakken present.
Superintendent of Schools Jodi Johnson appeared to present her budget.
County Recorder Sheila Dalen appeared. Dalen explained the major change in her budget was due to a much needed update of the Recorder’s software. She presented the Board with various ownership and lease options for the software.
Library Director Julie Burkhart then appeared to present her budget. She stated the change in her budget was a plan for replacing the county’s aging bookmobile.
State’s Attorney Roza Larson then appeared. Larson stated the budget was up slightly based on equipment needs and licensing fees.
At 11:16 a.m. Comm. Gruenberg left meeting.
At 11:17 a.m. Comm. Gruenberg returned to the meeting.
Juvenile Detention Director Allison Hughes then appeared with her department’s budget.
Jail Commander Penny Erickson then appeared. She said the jail is near capacity so some expenses are up, thus the slight increase in her budget.
Sheriff Vern Erck then appeared to present his budget. His budget included a request for two new SUVs and one used sedan.
At 12:03 p.m. the Board recessed until 1:00 p.m.
At 1:01p.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Gruenberg, Christianson, Erickson, and Nybakken present.
Social Services Director Robert Kondos along with Cleo Berven, Connie Ziekse, Linda Heilman, and Holly Keaveny appeared to present the 2011 Social Services budget. Social Services is requesting the addition of four new employees.
Court Administrator Carolyn Woolf appeared to present the District Court budget.
Joan Anderson, with Rehab Services then appeared regarding her budget request.
Smestad presented the budget for the Council on Aging, due to an absence of a representative.
Executive Director Dena Filler of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center appeared to present the budget.
John Pietsch, Chairman of the Water Resource Board, appeared next. Also present was Allan Estvold.
North Dakota State Fair General Manager Renae Korslien appeared to present her budget request.
Smestad made brief comments regarding the budgets of Soil Conservation and Weather Modification since representatives were not available.
The following then appeared to present the various Economic Development Corporation’s 2011 budget requests: Bob Inman, Berthold; Terry Zeltinger, DeSour Valley; Ralph Hoversten, Kenmare; and Jerry Chavez, Minot. All present were informed that their total budgets requests were $461 over the maximum allowed by statute and that reductions would be discussed after all departments had presented their budget requests.
At 2:55 p.m. the Board recessed.
At 3:15 p.m. the Board reconvened with Comms. Fjeldahl, Gruenberg, Erickson, and Nybakken present. Vice-Chairman Gruenberg conducted the meeting.
The board then heard from the following Historical Society groups in Ward County: David Kraft, Ryder and Brian Quigley, Lake County. Smestad commented on the requests from Makoti and Ward County as no representatives were present. All present were informed that their total budget requests were $ 12,603 over the maximum allowed by statute. Comm. Fjeldahl recommended the societies which completed the proper information and were present at the hearing should be given first consideration.
Smestad made brief comments regarding the Souris Basin Planning budget since a representative was not available
Smestad presented the Commissioner’s budget. Discussion focused on salaries and the need to be proportional to other counties. Comm. Fjeldahl recommended a 2% increase and nothing higher, in order for the Commissioner’s compensation to remain comparative.
Smestad then presented the Auditor/Treasurer department budget; the general miscellaneous; E911; Emergency; and Insurance Reserve Funds. IT Administrator Jason Blowers commented on technology related issues and updating the courthouse phone system and computer lines. Comm. Nybakken recommended Smestad to include the full estimated cost of the wiring project in the budget.
At 4:15 p.m. Comm. Fjeldahl left meeting.
At 4:16 p.m. Comm. Fjeldahl returned to the meeting.
The Board then reviewed each budget request and made the following changes: Veteran Services – allocate $8,810 for health insurance; Building Services – reduce north parking lot paving by $50,000; Recorder – reduce software upgrade by $50,000, paying for it over a two year period; Social Services reduction of three requested positions; State Fair – allocate complete 2 mills; Minot Area Development Council – reduce budget request by $1,525; Ward County Historical Society - reduce by $12,603; Commissioner’s salaries – increase 2%; computer/phone wiring update – increase $60,000; and Emergency Fund Levy – reduce by $20,000.
At 5:07 p.m. with no further business, the committee of the whole adjourned.
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED THIS 7TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2010.
s/ Bruce I Christianson
Chairman, Ward County Board of Commissioners
s/ Devra Smestad
Auditor/Treasurer, Ward County
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