Board of County Commissioners
Budget Meeting Agenda
August 1, 2023, at 4:00 PM
Edward J. Butler Governmental Complex
PRESENT: Kimblin NeSmith, Chair, District 3
Eric Hinson, Vice-Chair, District 1
Alonzetta Simpkins, District 3
Brenda Holt, District 4
Ronterius “Ron” Green, District 5
Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator
Clayton Knowles, County Attorney
Tammy Young, Clerk’s Office
Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk
Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
Chair started workshop at 4:07 pm. Chair led into a moment of silence and Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.
CITIZENS REQUESTING TO BE HEARD (3-Minute Limit)
The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners welcomes and encourages public participation at all meetings of the Board. Citizens are free to speak for up to three (3) minutes on non-agenda items. Public comments and participation are also encouraged for items on the agenda. Additionally, if you are unable to attend a meeting in person, comments from the Public can also be submitted via email to CitizensToBeHeard@gadsdencountyfl.gov until noon on the date of the meeting. Comments submitted after the deadline, but prior to the meeting, will be added to the official record, but the County cannot guarantee that Commissioners and staff will have adequate time to review comments prior to the meeting. Citizens are further encouraged to participate via Zoom using the credentials on the County’s website. The Board’s meetings are also broadcast live on the Board’s Facebook page.
Chair read aloud the above statement.
Introduction/FY 2023/2024 Tentative Budget Overview
Dixon presented the above item. He stated they have prepared big numbers in terms of what they believed to be their priorities. He stated they will ask tonight to approve a millage rate higher than what they have.
Daniels appeared before the Board. She stated they will present highlights of what was going on in the budget. She stated Ms. Burgess would be doing the presentation tonight. Daniels stated this budget was developed utilizing their current millage rate of 9.0000. The maximum is 10 mills. She stated they were going to be asking them at the regular meeting to set the tentative millage rate. They will also approve dates for 2 public hearings in September. She stated they could lower the millage rate before the final budget is adopted. They cannot raise it once they set the tentative millage rate. If they raise it, they need to send out trim notices to every property owner in the County.
Green asked if they could have what they currently have on their desk at least a few days prior to have time to go through it.
Chair asked CA if they had any questions who to direct them to. Dixon stated Mrs. Burgess, Ms. Daniels, or himself.
Burgess began her budget presentation. Chair asked if that was the highest budget the County has experienced. Burgess stated yes.
Green asked if there was breakdown of the increases and the purpose of them.
Burgess stated not in this package but they could provide those details.
Simpkins stated she knew previously there was no budget for elderly affairs, she asked about the $836,000 for 2023-24.
Daniels stated they approved budget of around $475,00 for elderly affairs department for 6 months. She stated the $836,000 was the amount for a full year.
Simpkins asked if they were able to maintain that level of expenditures, that was her concern. She asked what was the amount of the award. Daniels stated not sure if they award any specific amount.
Dixon stated the $475,000 did not include construction.
Green stated they discussed in previous meetings that that particular Board that had been re-organized was going to also fight for other funding sources. He asked if they have started to apply. He asked if the $836,000 would fit in their budget.
Daniels stated the revenue that would support the $836,000 would be partly coming from the grant. She stated the rest was being funded from leftover funding of the American Rescue plan.
Chair stated he did not anticipate the $836,000 and he had a lot of questions about this.
Green asked when were they scheduling their next workshop. He stated even if they budgeted the $836,000, how long would they be able to do this.
Dixon stated they have something called At A Glance where they are able to see all the numbers that are in elderly affairs. He stated there were also 2 positions that were carried in the administrator’s budget.
NeSmith asked if they had any residual income coming to Gadsden Senior Services other than the 2 grants 2 years ago.
Dixon stated triple A had not increased their numbers in terms of people. He stated they had a funding source.
Simpkins stated if 2 of the positions from the Administrator was rolled over into Elderly Affairs, was there a decrease in the administrator personnel. She asked if it would balance out since it was no longer under CA. She asked if they replaced that expense with something else. Dixon stated no. Simpkins stated her concern was sustainability.
Green asked what was left with the ARPA budget.
Daniels stated they have about 3.8 million dollars. They did not have remaining balance in there. Needs to be allocated by next year and spent by 2026.
Simpkins stated it was important to make decisions with time and not have to rush.
Dixon stated their intent was that in the next week, one of them will have an opportunity to meet with staff and go through the numbers.
Green asked what changes would be made from this document. Daniels stated they could have it up to date with what those numbers entail.
Simpkins stated for the foundation, if they were going to up to $15,000, then they need to be making sure that they were doing something for their citizens. The kids going to FAMU need to benefit. She stated they needed to make sure it was earmarked for Gadsden County citizens and that they are getting some type of scholarship out of the $15,000. She stated the Black History budget is still more because that $15,000 really goes into the Black History budget.
Dixon stated that was the object of the donation to the foundation.
Simpkins asked Dixon if the kids had received a scholarship. Dixon stated yes.
Steele stated the scholarship was set up for band students. They have not had a band student applied for that scholarship.
Simpkins stated they needed to make sure to have the scholarship available for more students not just band students.
Burgess stated right now the budget was set at 9.00 millage rate and the total revenue generated at that millage rate would be 18.4 million. They budget 95% of that so 17.5 million. If they were to increase the millage rate to 9.25, it would be an additional 487,675 dollars that would be generated.
Burgess stated page 23 of the presentation has some future outlooks of what they could do with some of the ARPA funds.
Hinson appeared at 5:23 pm.
Green mentioned page 18 and the 2 million dollars that are in those particular categories. He asked if they have to be allocated in that matter and if it was able to go into general funds?
Dixon stated they could be allocated anyway they wish.
Holt stated they need to make something that generates money.
Holt stated the Economic Development plan requires more money.
Green stated infrastructure was important. Wanted to have a more detailed conversation on this especially now having a Director for Economic Development. Green stated there was no way they could service their County with just $50,000.
Hinson asked CA if they still give tax abatements. CA stated yes to only one company. Daniels stated Hoover Company. Hinson stated they needed to focus on Infrastructure.
MOTION TO ADJOURN
Workshop adjourned at 5:52 pm