Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met February 28.
Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met February 28.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Members Present: Allen Mayer - Chairman; Steven Rieker - Vice Chairman; James Fennell, Brad Harding, Phillip Salzer, William Watkins, Jr., Sharon Williams - Committee Members
Others Present: Scott Sorrel - County Administrator; Shauna Musselman - Assistant County Administrator; Larry Evans - State's Attorney's Office; Eric Dubrowski - Chief Financial Officer; Randy Brunner - Finance; Jennifer Yoder - Regional Office of Education; Steve Sonnemaker - County Clerk; Dave Ryan - Supervisor of Assessments; Rick Salisbury - Board of Review; Trisha Collins - Veteran's Assistance Commission; Nicole Demetreas - Treasurer; Mark Little - Chief Information Officer; Dan O'Connell - Facilities Director
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mayer at 1:00 p.m.
Approval of Minutes:
A motion to approve the executive session minutes of October 27, 2016 and January 4, 2017 and regular session minutes of January 24, 2017 was made by Mr. Watkins and seconded by Ms. Williams. The motion carried.
Informational Items/Reports/Other Minutes/Updates:
Mr. Sonnemaker directed the committee to the monthly report and advised that the report has been revised in order to better reflect the addition of the Recording functions. He stated that the report further specifies those collections that benefit other county departments as well as other entities.
Mr. Harding noted the 2017 budget for liquor licenses and asked if the January liquor license revenues are indicative of the final budget numbers. Mr. Sonnemaker stated that as liquor licenses are due June 30th that is the timeframe in which the majority of that revenue is received. He commented that as a rule, many of the transactions within the County Clerk's office tend to ebb and flow dependent on the transaction and the month.
Peoria County Election Commission-
Mr. Little advised that in 2016 an approximately 6,000 sq. space was rented in a facility on Brandywine Drive for the Election Commission. He stated that $650,000.00 was budgeted for 2017 in order to complete the refurbishing of the space. He advised that Dewberry was engaged to begin the process of redesigning the space, and during that process Dewberry began to identify issues with the building. As a result, contractors were retained to perform environmental testing on the building, and found asbestos as well as surface mold throughout the building. He commented with the addition of other potential concerns listed by Dewberry, such as potential ADA access issues and electrical and HVAC problems, the remodel could cost more than the amount budgeted for the project. Mr. Evans advised that the State's Attorney's Office will send the owner a letter specifying the issues, particularly mold 2 and asbestos remediation, and requiring clean-up at the owner's expense. He stressed that the provisions relating to environmental conditions and ADA compliance are breaches of the contract, and stated that next steps will be dependent on the owner's response. He stated that under the contract, the County is required to give the owner 30 days notice, at which point the County would have the right to cease rent payments, subject to the owner remedying the problems.
Mr. Sorrel noted that the owner had at one point begun but not completed remodeling work, including the removal of the HVAC system, which eliminated airflow within the building. He also advised that when the building was originally viewed by both him and Mr. Bride last year, there was no mold detected. Ms. Williams expressed concern that even if the mold problem was dealt with, there is the potential of the mold returning.
Mr. Chance provided an update to the Committee regarding the operations of the Finance Department.
• The 2017 budget document is available online, and has been submitted to GFOA.
• Preliminary fieldwork on the audit is complete. GASB is seeking comments, as another major change is being proposed which will change the impact of a fund balance. Mr. Mayer suggested that NACo be made aware of this change if they are not already.
• An information sharing agreement with the State of Illinois regarding sales tax will be going forward to the Budget Committee for approval.
• Reports to Budget Committee include a Sales Tax Analysis and Heddington Oaks Analysis.
• Staff is working on recovery of a large receivable, related to Medicare/Medicaid.
Regional Office of Education (ROE)-
Ms. Yoder provided an update on activities of the Regional Office of Education:
• A Trauma Informed Practice Conference hosted by the Office will be held March 1st in collaboration with the Youth Services Network Panel. Two sessions will be held at St. Paul's Baptist Church; the morning session will be for community members, law enforcement, parents and non-profits, and the afternoon session is for public school educators.
• The Office has taken several cautionary budget measures due to State budget issues, such as meeting monthly with the leadership team to track current funding and share ideas to cut costs. The Office is still owed FY2016 and FY2017 funding, including a Truancy Grant which has received no funding.
Supervisor of Assessments/Board of Review-
• Tax Cycle
Mr. Ryan advised that a final multiplier of "1" has been received from the Department of Revenue. He explained that the State checks the work of the office, comparing assessments against sales prices to determine whether or not assessments average 33 1/3% of market value, and if the results indicate that assessments are either higher or lower than 33 1/3% a multiplier is calculated and applied in order to bring the level of assessment to that percentage.
Mr. Ryan advised that two court cases have been argued regarding the constitutionality of the law passed regarding hospital exemptions, and will be going to the State Supreme Court for a decision.
• Board of Review
Mr. Salisbury advised that the Board is in the process of completing a total of approximately 450 PTAB cases, most of which were commercial cases. Mr. Ryan advised that the Board has won 75% to 80% of their cases.
Ms. Demetreas advised that all initial documentation has provided to the external auditors, and the office is completing collector and redemption accounts. She stated that updates regarding mobile homes and mobile home parks have been completed and tax bills will be generated and issued March 1. She advised that tax deferrals are being finalized, and staff is fielding increasing calls regarding income tax information.
Veteran's Assistance Commission-
Ms. Collins advised that the Commission currently has over 200 active compensation claims, and 79 appeals awaiting decision. She commented that the Commission was recently granted an appeal for a veteran for $311,000.00 in retro pay.
Ms. Collins advised that both she and Mr. Brooks have been participating with the Veteran's Court Committee. She commented that a new employee will begin in mid-March. She advised that staff has worked with the VA Clinic in crisis training, and noted that there is a crisis line for veterans, which can also be utilized by spouses and families of veterans.
• Monthly Delinquent Taxes
A motion to approve was made by Mr. Fennell and seconded by Ms. Williams. The motion carried.
• Legislative Update
Mr. Sorrel advised that staff continues to track the progress of the bills in the Senate that are part of the Grand Bargain. He stated that one of the bills in that package does include a property tax freeze for all taxing bodies statewide. He advised that there has been movement on the assessment side on the concept of "dark stores", which deal with the assessment of empty, big box retailers.
• SB1592/HB537 is a bill that would allow for the creation of an Election Commission within the County Clerk's office. The bill is permissive and focused on DuPage County.
• HB220, proposed by Rep. Gordon-Booth, would apply to every government that receives a Motor Fuel Tax allocation greater than a certain dollar value. Peoria County meets the threshold, which necessitates a minority business disability enterprise plan that would meet IDOT standards.
Bills specific to the County and City Legislative Program:
• Multiple House Bills by Rep. Spain and one by Rep. Gordon-Booth related to extending the life of reverse edge tax credits
• HB2428/SB1765, introduced by Rep. Spain and Sen. Weaver, relates to erroneous homestead exemptions
• HB2412, introduced by Rep. Unes, relates to Hanna City Work Camp
• HB2544, introduced by Rep. Unes, relates to the Medicaid Pending issue
• SB1526, sponsored by Rep. Weaver, requires IDOT to comply with the ADA on sidewalks and bicycle paths
Ms. Williams advised that she is tracking HB610, the Truth in Education Act, on behalf of Regional Office of Education.
Mr. Sorrel advised that he had the opportunity to represent the County's interest at the NACo Legislative Conference this past week. He met with Congressman LaHood, the Legislative Director from Senator Duckworth's office, the Special Projects Manager from Senator Durbin's office, and the Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison from Congresswoman Bustos' office. Discussion included priorities related to a potential infrastructure bill and the Health Department's Lead Abatement Grant, a stormwater related project and the Hanna City Work Camp.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Mayer at 2:55 p.m.
Organizations in this Story
324 Main St
Peoria, IL - 61602