KVSV

Mitchell County Commisioners Meeting Monday July 17th

 

Mitchell County Commissioners

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

 

By Terry Bailey

 


 

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday morning, July 17th. All three Commissioners were present as well as the County Clerk. Also in attendance was Jason Rabe - Beloit City Manager, Yvonne Melton – County Treasurer, Tammy Eck – Register of Deeds, Melinda Latham – Count Assessor, Dale Housh – Superintendent of Public Works and his departmental secretary, Karm Princ. The meeting began at 8:30 a.m. as normal but did not end till almost 1:00 p.m. The reason for the extended time period for the weekly meeting – the County budget.

 

Also in attendance to facilitate the deliberations was Jeff Reece, certified public account with the accounting firm of Lindbergh, Vogel, Pierce, Faris Chartered of Hutchinson. This is the accounting firm that is contracted by Mitchell County to oversee the construction of the yearly budget and has done so for many years.

 

Before the budget deliberations began, the Commissioners wanted to repeat the announcement that significant overhaul and update work was beginning on the Courthouse elevator beginning Monday, July 17 and will take approximately three weeks to complete. During this time the elevator will not be available for use by the public.

 

Commissioner Tom Claussen discussed the application for the Historical Preservation Grant which hopefully would provide funds for the stabilization of the exterior surfaces of the Courthouse. Claussen said personnel from the NCK Regional Planning Commission will provide assistance the grant submission process. If funds were received, the County would have a 20 percent match and the State would provide 80 percent of the funds necessary for the project.

 


 

Housh gave the Commissioners a status report of his department’s activities. His crews are at work drilling the holes for the pilings on the bridge replacement on K Road. He reported between the ledge of limestone rock and a very hard shelf of blue shale, they spent most of one day drilling four, 12 foot deep holes out of a total of 32 necessary for the project. He said “it was slower than slow going.” They are going to experiment with drilling smaller pilot holes to the necessary depth and then drilling the large diameter holes hoping this would speed up the process.

 

Housh said the road crews were starting with a four mile overlay segment of the Feedlot Road today.

 

He said they have firm figures on the cost of the inspection of the Causeway and Fisherman’s Bridges. The total cost to have these two bridges inspected in $12,700.

 

With those preliminary actions dispensed with, the next three hours and 45 minutes were devoted to the intermediate steps to develop the 2017 Mitchell County budget.

 

By newly instituted state mandate, Kansas Counties cannot raise their yearly budget more than the current consumer price index. At this time the national CPI stands at 1.4%. This means that the 2017 cannot increase any more than 1.4% over the 2016 budget. Should counties wish to exceed the CPI increase, a county wide election must be held to approve that amount.

 

Mitchell County has a Standard and Poor rating of AA – (minus). The Mitchell Country rating has been upgraded from last year’s rating of A+ (plus).This is the second best rating possible with the best rating being AAA – (minus).

 

Last year’s budget totaled $7,753,000. Allowing for the CPI increase of 1.4%, the new budget for the upcoming year could not exceed $8,048,000. Should the Commissioner wish to exceed that amount, a county wide election would be necessary. This gave them a total amount of $334,000 to work with.

 

An increase in health insurance costs was a certainty. The Commissioners had been working with a “guesstimate” that health care insurance expenses would increase 10%. However recent information from Blue Cross indicates that instead of a 10% increase in premiums the County should expect a 25% increase.

 

At this point, halfway through the year, the County has paid out $618,000 for health insurance. This would indicate that by the end of the year the total would stand at $1,260,000. A 25% increase for next year would call for an increase in spending for health insurance of $186,000.

 

The next hours were spent going through each departmental budget, line by line, to double check the numbers. The departments had been instructe

Mitchell County Commissioners

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

 

By Terry Bailey

 


 

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday morning, July 17th. All three Commissioners were present as well as the County Clerk. Also in attendance was Jason Rabe - Beloit City Manager, Yvonne Melton – County Treasurer, Tammy Eck – Register of Deeds, Melinda Latham – Count Assessor, Dale Housh – Superintendent of Public Works and his departmental secretary, Karm Princ. The meeting began at 8:30 a.m. as normal but did not end till almost 1:00 p.m. The reason for the extended time period for the weekly meeting – the County budget.

 

Also in attendance to facilitate the deliberations was Jeff Reece, certified public account with the accounting firm of Lindbergh, Vogel, Pierce, Faris Chartered of Hutchinson. This is the accounting firm that is contracted by Mitchell County to oversee the construction of the yearly budget and has done so for many years.

 

Before the budget deliberations began, the Commissioners wanted to repeat the announcement that significant overhaul and update work was beginning on the Courthouse elevator beginning Monday, July 17 and will take approximately three weeks to complete. During this time the elevator will not be available for use by the public.

 

Commissioner Tom Claussen discussed the application for the Historical Preservation Grant which hopefully would provide funds for the stabilization of the exterior surfaces of the Courthouse. Claussen said personnel from the NCK Regional Planning Commission will provide assistance the grant submission process. If funds were received, the County would have a 20 percent match and the State would provide 80 percent of the funds necessary for the project.

 


 

Housh gave the Commissioners a status report of his department’s activities. His crews are at work drilling the holes for the pilings on the bridge replacement on K Road. He reported between the ledge of limestone rock and a very hard shelf of blue shale, they spent most of one day drilling four, 12 foot deep holes out of a total of 32 necessary for the project. He said “it was slower than slow going.” They are going to experiment with drilling smaller pilot holes to the necessary depth and then drilling the large diameter holes hoping this would speed up the process.

 

Housh said the road crews were starting with a four mile overlay segment of the Feedlot Road today.

 

He said they have firm figures on the cost of the inspection of the Causeway and Fisherman’s Bridges. The total cost to have these two bridges inspected in $12,700.

 

With those preliminary actions dispensed with, the next three hours and 45 minutes were devoted to the intermediate steps to develop the 2017 Mitchell County budget.

 

By newly instituted state mandate, Kansas Counties cannot raise their yearly budget more than the current consumer price index. At this time the national CPI stands at 1.4%. This means that the 2017 cannot increase any more than 1.4% over the 2016 budget. Should counties wish to exceed the CPI increase, a county wide election must be held to approve that amount.

 

Mitchell County has a Standard and Poor rating of AA – (minus). The Mitchell Country rating has been upgraded from last year’s rating of A+ (plus).This is the second best rating possible with the best rating being AAA – (minus).

 

Last year’s budget totaled $7,753,000. Allowing for the CPI increase of 1.4%, the new budget for the upcoming year could not exceed $8,048,000. Should the Commissioner wish to exceed that amount, a county wide election would be necessary. This gave them a total amount of $334,000 to work with.

 

An increase in health insurance costs was a certainty. The Commissioners had been working with a “guesstimate” that health care insurance expenses would increase 10%. However recent information from Blue Cross indicates that instead of a 10% increase in premiums the County should expect a 25% increase.

 

At this point, halfway through the year, the County has paid out $618,000 for health insurance. This would indicate that by the end of the year the total would stand at $1,260,000. A 25% increase for next year would call for an increase in spending for health insurance of $186,000.

 

The next hours were spent going through each departmental budget, line by line, to double check the numbers. The departments had been instructed to submit a budget based on a 10% increase in health insurance. This had to be refigured to reflect a 25% increase rather than a 10% increase.

 

When all the revisions had been completed, the Mitchell County mil levy decreased for the upcoming year from the current 94.125 mils to a new total of 97.45

 

Having completed all the items before them, the meeting was adjourned.

d to submit a budget based on a 10% increase in health insurance. This had to be refigured to reflect a 25% increase rather than a 10% increase.

 

When all the revisions had been completed, the Mitchell County mil levy decreased for the upcoming year from the current 94.125 mils to a new total of 97.45

 

Having completed all the items before them, the meeting was adjourned.

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