LANE COUNTY

BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING

May 15, 2003

5:15 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/22/04

 

Chair David Crowell presided with Scott Bartlett, Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Mary Ann Holser, Kathy Keable, Tom Lininger, Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present.Francisca Johnson was excused.County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

I. CALL TO ORDER

 

David Crowell called the meeting to order.

 

II. COMMITTEE BUSINESS

 

Approval of Minutes for April 29, 2003

 

MOTION: to approve Minutes for April 29, 2003.

 

Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

III. CHILDREN & FAMILIES DEPARTMENT BUDGET

 

Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, reported the funding for Children and Families is located in the general fund. He noted their budget for next year is proposed to be $4,070,869.He added they had a 4.2% decrease over the current year.He said the department is dependent upon state and federal revenue.

 

Alicia Hayes, Children and Families gave an overview of the department.

 

MOTION: to tentatively approve the budget for Children and Families

 

Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

IV. INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT BUDGET

 

Garnick explained the Information Services budget is funded by charges to all of the other county departments.He added that a portion of the IS budget is Lane Countyís payment to the regional information system of $1.5 million.He said support from the general fund departments amounts to 56% of the total IS budget with the large portion of the RIS charges going for the area information record system.He noted for the RIS portion, the general fund pays 97%.He added the department also has a second fund that is a PC replacement fund of $1.3 million.He noted the fund is going down because of the purchase of PCís for next year.He added as a part of balancing the proposed budget, the IS department took a reduction of $331,230.

 

Tony Black, Information Services, passed out an IS Strategic Plan.He added it is a work plan that came from the Strategic Plan.He stated the budget is $7.1 million.He noted a focus item for IS last year was getting the organizational structure to be most efficient in covering the areas of interest in the County.He added that a maintenance charge is another significant factor of their budget increase. He reported there are 44 FTE in his department and he is not asking for any more personnel.

 

MOTION: to tentatively approve the general fund and PC replacement fund for IS Department.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

V. REGIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEPARTMENT BUDGET.

 

Garnick reported that RIS is similar to the IS Department, but RIS operates from an enterprise fund and only one-third of the budget is paid by Lane County.He added the Cities of Springfield and Eugene pay for the other two-thirds.He noted the budget is $9,511,975 and they recommend an increase of 23.7% because of the AIRS conversion project.He added there are some reductions in the budget preparation process of $272,000.

 

Paul White, RIS, passed out material. (Copy in file.)He said that RIS is a computer network service provider to local government.He said they are also a Lane County department.He said there is 31 staff with a budget of $4.4 million.He added they get another part of the budget that is comprised of projects and direct services to buy equipment.He added they are required to maintain their own prudent person reserve.He noted the biggest project the department had taken on in 20 years is the replacement of the justice and public safety computer system.

 

White explained they are seeing increases in labor expenses in general and to address that they had a small reduction in staffing.He said their projection for expenses is about $80,000 less for revenue.He said they would have sufficient funding to maintain the current service level and funding to continue justice and public safety projects.He added they have unmet project needs butthey could get the work done with current staffing

 

MOTION: to approve the tentative RIS Department budget.

 

Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

VI. WORKFORCE PARTNERSHIP

 

Spickard passed out a revised department memo that discussed the Workforce Partnership budget. (Copy in file.)She explained the Workforce Partnership is a department that is solely funded by federal funds and is budgeted within its own fund in the Countyís overall budget.She noted the original proposed budget amount for the Workforce Partnership for next fiscal year was $7,728,964, but recently the department has received notification from the federal government of a reduction in funding for next year.She said the department has prepared a reduction package for the budget for next year.She noted when the Budget Committee gives tentative approval that it includes the revised balance of $7,319,849.She added there would be 41 FTE instead of 46, for a reduction of $409,000.

 

Chuck Forster, Lane Workforce Partnership, gave a summary of his department.

 

With regard to the reduction, he said there is no expectation for them to go to any local government for any financial assistance.

 

Sorenson asked if they could allocate economic development dollars to the Workforce Partnership.

 

Forster responded they could.

 

Sorenson suggested blending what Lane County is doing with the governorís increased emphasis on work forces as part of an economic strategy.He thought it was a good idea to get some flexible funding.He wanted to bring this item back.

 

Holser asked what services would be lost with the reduction.

 

Forster responded that impact to low-income youth would go to 275 from 350.He added the biggest reduction was the funding stream that works with laid off workers.He stated it would affect 135 dislocated workers.

 

MOTION: to tentatively approve the Lane Workforce Partnership Budget.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

VII. FAIR BOARD

 

Garnick reported the Fair Board has an enterprise fund and their budget is $5.2 million.Henoted their budget was down 29.5% and it includes the elimination of the planetarium project and debt that had been moved over to a Lane County debt service fund.He added what is included in their budget is the use of transient room tax dollars to help repay the loan and to build a cash reserve.

 

Warren Wong, Fair Board, recalled they are an enterprise fund and operate on the fees, rents and admissions that they can generate to cover their expenses.He noted there is no operating subsidy going into the fair operations.He said the current finances are an improvement and they are showing a profit of $270,000 versus $214,000 at the same time the prior year.He said that financial stability was paramount in order for them to be able to provide the services at the fair grounds.He explained the Fair Board had adopted a work plan to address some of the issues that came about from the E-coli claims.

 

Wong said they were concerned about the infrastructure and equipment that is required to run the venue.He said they continue to spend resources on the infrastructure.He noted the youngest building at the fairgrounds is vintage 1978.He added most of the buildings go back over 50 years.

 

Wong reported there were changes in the budget for what was adopted for this year.He said they had taken out all of the references to the planetarium in next yearís budget.With regard to the excess transient room tax capital monies, he said there is a board order that approves after the debt service on the fairgrounds and after the debt service for the Florence facility is made, whatever is left over goes to the Fair Board for use in major rehabilitation and maintenance and equipment replacement at the fairgrounds.He recommended two changes with the money.He said when the Fair Board took over the planetarium, money was borrowed from the transient room tax special projects account.He said the authorization from the Board was $330,000 and in the end they borrowed $290,000.He said the Fair Board is committed to repaying that to the TRT special projects account.He said they are recommending that of the $700,000 that is allocated to the Fair Board for capital resources, that a portion of that be used each year over the next four years to repay the $290,000.He said the second change for the use of the money is repaying the operating cash account.He noted during the past five to seven years, they have seen costs go up significantly.He set a goal to build up the cash.He said based on the financial equation, they canít replenish the cash fast enough.He noted the annual County Fair is the only thing that makes a profit at the fairgrounds and runs between $450,000 to $500,000.He said it is the internal subsidy that mitigates the deficits that occur with sports, the ice arena and convention center for the rest of the year. He added they wanted to establish a reserve equivalent to $500,000.He said the recommendation is for the transient room tax capital money they get for the next four years, to set aside $125,000 to replenish and re-establish the cash reserve.He said the Fair Board recognizes there is a trade off between establishing the cash reserve and hard capital.

 

With regard to the Fair Board issues, Teresa Wilson, explained that legally what Lane Code provides for is the use of transient room tax money to be used for capital purposes unless authorized by the Board on an annual budget basis.She said the Fair Board was proposing a four-year plan.She noted what the Board has authority to authorize is only a one-year commitment. She was prepared for the Board to adopt the budget order and a separate order that will authorize the use of a part of the transient room tax money for the dual purpose of the repayment on the planetarium loan and for setting aside a Fair Board operating reserve.She said it is a choice the Boardcould make but it would have to be addressed on an annual basis.

 

Dwyer was opposed to the idea.

 

Sorenson asked if they tentatively approved the budget for the Fair Board if they were changing any board policy regarding the Fair Board.

 

Wilson said she received joint direction from the Board and the Fair Board to prepare the board order for adoption at the time of the budget to implement the use of the transient room tax for repayment of the loan and the reserve.She noted there was Board direction to staff to bring it back for adoption.

 

Green commented the Board of Commissioners and the Fair Board needed to have a serious discussion about the future of the fairgrounds.He was supportive of the Fair Boardís proposal.He said they haveto tighten the reserve piece because when they need to access the money, it should trigger a conversation with the Board so something could be documented.

 

Wong said the Board order would be written in such a way that there would have to be a threshold point before which the tax reserve could be tapped.He added it would have to be replenished by operating profits in subsequent years.

 

Garnick explained the $700,000 from the TRT goes into the budget and it would be approved for the reserve and used as capital.

 

MOTION: to tentatively approve the Fair Board budget.

 

Green MOVED, Bartlett SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said he would support the motion but he wanted the issues to be discussed separately before the Board.

 

VOTE: 9-0.

 

VIII. DISTRIBUTION OF NEXT MEETING MATERIALS

 

Garnick passed out the agenda and materials for Tuesday night.

 

Crowell reviewed what the ground rules would be for Tuesday night.

 

IX. ADJOURN

 

Adjourned 8:25 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary