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9:00 A.M.

The Board of County Commissioners of Madison County, Florida met this day in Special Session with the following members present: Justin Hamrick (District 1), Wayne Vickers (District 2), Ronnie Moore (District 3), Clyde Alexander (District 4), and Rick Davis (District 5). Also present were County Coordinator Allen Cherry, County Clerk Tim Sanders, Clerk Finance Director Lessia Freeman and Finance Clerk Kaytrena Joseph.

The Chairman, Honorable Justin Hamrick, called the meeting to order and explained the purpose of the Special Meeting as advertised was to (1) Continue preparation of the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Budget; (2) Decision of Tentative Millage for Certification to Property Appraiser and Notification of Proposed Millage Rate and Date, Time, Place of Tentative Budget Hearing; and, (3) Request for Temporary Road Closure of Christmas Tree Lane by Linda Kirkland.

Mr. Cherry reported an Application for Temporary Road Closure was submitted by Linda Kirkland for a portion of Christmas Tree Lane on Friday August 1st from 6 PM to 10PM and Saturday August 2nd from 10 AM to 6 PM. He stated the proposed road closure is for a family reunion and would not affect any other home owner. Upon a motion by Commissioner Alexander, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to approve said application.

The Clerk presented and referred to a paper entitled Madison BOCC Operating Millage Rate Comparison for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. He reported the Property Appraiser’s estimated Fiscal Year Taxable Value is $633,166,530 and based upon the current Millage Rate of 10.00, proceeds would increase approximately $80,000. He also stated all revenue projections used thus far in the budget process are based upon the current 10 mills.

The Clerk also reported on the agenda is a decision by the Board to set a Tentative Millage for Certification to the Property Appraiser and a notification of the proposed millage rate and date, time, and place of the Tentative Budget hearing. He explained these actions must be done within 35 days of certification of taxable value by the Property Appraiser, which occurred on July 1, 2014 (TRIM Day 1). Mr. Sanders recommended the Millage Rate of 10.00, which the Board may reduce up to the Final Budget Hearing scheduled for September 22, 2014. A motion was made by Commissioner Vickers and seconded by Commissioner Alexander to approve a Tentative Millage of 10.00. Motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Sanders reported the First Public Hearing for Tentative Millage and Budget is scheduled for September 10th based upon the Board’s Budget Preparation Schedule. Upon a motion by Commissioner Davis and seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to set the date, time and place for the Tentative Budget Hearing for September 10, 2014 at 5:30 PM in the Board Room of the Madison County Courthouse Annex.

The Clerk presented a booklet entitled MADISON COUNTY BOCC TENTATIVE MILLAGE & BUDGET FY 2014-2015 dated August 1, 2014. He also presented a paper entitled 2014-2015 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET RECAP dated August 1, 2014 based upon the current FY 2013-2014 Millage Rate of 10.00; Health Insurance @ 4% decrease; Retirement contribution rate increase effective 7/1/2014; and 0% Cost of Living Adjustment.

Mr. Sanders reported the following fund balances: General Fund +$4,589,502; County Transportation Trust Fund balanced at $0; Fine & Forfeiture –($4,878,674); Solid Waste –($38,364); Recycling $0 (balanced); Emergency Medical Services $0 (balanced with $473,746 with Small County Surtax); Landfill Closure $0 (balanced with proceeds from Local Option Gas Tax in the amount of $100,000 and $60,000 from General Fund); Fire Services $0 (balanced). The Clerk explained the net balance for the General Fund, which includes General and Fine & Forfeiture, is now a negative –($289,172).

The Clerk also presented for informational purposes another 2014-2015 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET RECAP with Millage Rate at current 10.00 mills; 4% decrease in Health Insurance; Retirement Rate increase effective 7/1/2014; and 0% Cost of Living Adjustment and FY 2014-15 Budget with NO expenditure changes from current fiscal year. He explained this recap with a resulting positive General Fund/Fine & Forfeiture balance in the amount of +$27,347 is based solely upon current fiscal year budget expenditures for budgets funded by the General Fund (Constitutional Officers, including Sheriff, and Board Departments) with no revenue increases to offset retirement or other cost increases.

Based upon the latest revenue projections, Mr. Sanders presented another paper entitled 2014-2015 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET RECAP based upon the same factors as above, including the same expenditure level for the Sheriff and all departments and offices funded by the General Fund, but with the Board funding all Florida Retirement System increases. He explained this scenerio would produce a negative General Fund/Fine & Forfeiture balance in the amount of –($99,077) and was made for informational purposes only, as was the aforementioned one.

Discussion followed on ways to balance the Solid Waste budget, which included a possible increase in the Solid Waste assessment, hours of operation of the Collection Centers, and eliminating a contractual agreement for yard trash and downed tree/limb debris disposal.

Sheriff Ben Stewart reported the Constitutional Officers have met together and also with two of the Commissioners about their respective duties and associated expenses. He reported there was a consensus for the Board to review every fund and department, and that cuts in expenditures should be shared by all.

Chief Deputy Epp Richardson referred to the Sheriff’s proposed budget and directed attention to the capital expenditures line item. He also reported that he along with Clerk Finance have looked at additional opportunities to offset the General Fund transfer to balance Fine & Forfeiture.

The Clerk reported approximately $114,000 of the (Emergency Medical Services) EMS/Communications Center expenditures are eligible for E911 funding and could be used to offset dependence of the Fiscally Constrained Fund to pay down the building construction and renovation loan payment, thus freeing Fiscally Constrained dollars to pay for necessary Capital Outlay expenses. The Board by consensus agreed to use said E911 funds as necessary.

Discussion followed on the value of the County’s Economic Development Consultant and the $90,000 budgeted from Fiscally Constrained funds.

The Chief Deputy also addressed a comparative study of Florida Sheriff’s expenditures performed by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) for fiscal year 2012. He explained the values used in the study for Madison County were flawed and instead of placing in the 2nd Top 25%, Madison County should be in the bottom 25% of expenditures.

The Sheriff addressed recent news reports about a search warrant in the County and reported the warrant was valid and had legal standing. He stated once deputies recognized they were in the wrong mobile home, they removed themselves. He also reported an arrest was made.

Sheriff Stewart also reported that the Madison City Manager sent an email to his City Commissioners that the City Manager wants to abolish the City Police Department.

Chief Deputy Richardson also addressed a concern expressed by some about pictures of arrested juveniles appearing in the newspaper. He stated that records of juveniles booked on a felony are a public record by law.

Property Appraiser Leigh Barfield reported a very informative meeting with financial information provided by the Clerk and his staff to all the Constitutional Officers. She stated she is going to let go one of only two of her field personnel, which would result in a $24,000 savings. She added that her State approved budget would be amended as a result of said decrease in personnel expenses.

Supervisor of Elections Tommy Hardee thanked the Board members for meeting with the Constitutional Officers and suggested the Board still look at cuts in the budget even after it is balanced.

Commissioner Moore also expressed a concern about the money spent from Fiscally Constrained for the Economic Development Consultant. Mr. Cherry reported his contract with the County goes through January of next year and also reported many relationships have developed with the consultant’s help along with calls that have not been previously received. He added that he has contacted Jefferson County about taking Lafayette County’s place in helping fund the position.

Commissioner Davis suggested looking at all avenues of increasing efficiencies and cost savings and services in the County, including the Emergency Management Department. He noted that in some counties, Emergency Management is run through the Sheriff’s Office.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:20 A.M.

Board of County Commissioners

Madison County, Florida



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