Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met June 27.
Peoria County Ways and Means Committee met June 27.
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; Andrew Rand - County Board Chairman; Angela Loftus - County Administration; Beth Derry - Regional Office of Education; Steve Sonnemaker - County Clerk; Dave Ryan - Supervisor of Assessments; Rick Salisbury - Board of Review; Mark Little - Chief Information Officer; Tom Bride - Election Commission; Nicole Demetreas - Treasurer; Kent Rotherham - Auditor; Trisha Collins - Veteran's Assistance Commission; Doug Gaa - Sheriff's Office
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mayer at 2:02 p.m.
Approval of Minutes:
A motion to approve the executive session minutes of April 25, 2017 and regular session minutes of May 23, 2017 was made by Mr. Fennell and seconded by Ms. Williams. The motion carried.
Informational Items/Reports/Other Minutes/Updates:
Mr. Rotherham advised that to date, he has returned over $21,000.00 of salary back to the county, which he anticipates utilizing to hire additional CPAs. He stated that following the completion of the audit, he will provide a report on the financial condition of Heddington Oaks.
Mr. Sonnemaker advised that remodeling of the office began several weeks ago.
Peoria County Election Commission-
Mr. Bride advised that the Commission is preparing the mailing of new voter registration cards. He stated that a reorganization and inventory of materials is ongoing. He advised that although automatic registration coming from the DMV is still in paper form, if the Governor signs automatic voter registration bill, information will begin coming from the DMV electronically in July 2018.
Mr. Mayer advised that Mr. Bride and Mr. Little will give a presentation at an upcoming meeting of the committee on the integrity of the voter database and cyber issues related to foreign government. Mr. Bride stated that the state voter registration base was accessed before the presidential election, although it appears that no information was altered. He also noted that the voter registration system and the actual voting system are not inter-connected, and the access gained to the voter registration system did not affect the voting system.
Mr. Rieker asked how the Commission is able to validate that the systems have not been breached. Mr. Bride stated that voter registration data is continuously updated, and there was no indication of an abnormal spike in numbers.
Mr. Sorrel advised that Finance has received the draft copy of the Management Letter for the audit, and staff will be preparing management's response.
Mr. Sorrel advised that staff is reviewing applications for the position of Assistant Chief Financial Officer, and interviews are upcoming.
Mr. Sorrel advised that revenue budgets have been received from all offices and departments. He stated that a special Budget Subcommittee meeting will be scheduled to meet on July 13, 2017, the day of the July County Board Meeting, to review projected numbers for the current fiscal year and requests for the upcoming fiscal year. He stated that expenditure budget requests are due in three weeks, and a second Budget Subcommittee meeting will be held subsequent to the receipt of all requests.
Regional Office of Education (ROE)-
Ms. Derry provided an update on activities of the Regional Office of Education:
• Activity currently revolves around the outcome of the June 30th state budget deadline, and many of the services provided are currently being delayed.
• She and Lt. Quast of the Sheriff's Department are part of a committee on school safety and security, and will meet with schools for a year-end review of safety and security and modes of improvement.
• Ms. Derry is part of a social and emotional action team which will assist in revolutionizing operations at Manual High School.
Supervisor of Assessments/Board of Review-
• Tax Cycle
Mr. Ryan advised that 2017 assessments will be completed in approximately six weeks. He advised that the majority of townships are flat and will continue to be flat and/or negative going forward.
Mr. Ryan advised that Board of Review exam was held last week, and notification was received from the County Clerk's office that several individuals had passed the exam.
Mr. Ryan advised that several area hospitals are now going to be considered tax exempt by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Mr. Fennel commented on demolition activity of empty buildings within the county to avoid the necessity of paying real estate taxes. He questioned whether the option of keeping those structures intact in order to draw another business to them has been considered. Mr. Ryan advised that there are reductions on buildings that become vacant, although the assessor's office views the property on market value and not as a means of spurring economic development.
• Board of Review
No report. No questions or comments from committee.
Ms. Demetreas advised that first distribution took place on June 22, 2017, with over 900 batches posted to make available for distribution. She stated that 18 of the 149 active districts have requested delayed distribution, and added that the majority of those 18 are school districts. She advised that $127 million of an available $145 million has been distributed. She stated that the office has taken in 1,695 credit card and e-check payments and has issued 336 refunds.
Regarding the tax exempt status of hospitals noted by Mr. Ryan, she advised that refunds are upcoming. She has spoken with Dunlap School District to assist in mitigating impact.
Veteran's Assistance Commission-
Ms. Collins advised that she and Mr. Brooks attended national training the week of June 10th, and received their continuous accreditation. She stated that the Assistance Coordinator has also received her accreditation and is accredited through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Ms. Collins advised that an award of $121,967.00 was granted a veteran this month. Ms. Collins advised that an average of 200 claims are reviewed monthly, with benefits in 2017 at approximately $4.4 million.
Ms. Collins advised that the next meeting of the Veteran's Assistance Commission is scheduled for July 20, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Mr. Mayer advised that a four year property tax freeze is likely to be part of a budget negotiation, noted a flat EAV would lessen the impact of such a freeze. He stated that the bill got out of the House Revenue Committee this morning.
• Monthly Delinquent Taxes
A motion to approve was made by Mr. Watkins and seconded by Mr. Salzer. The motion carried.
• Review of Executive Session Minutes
Mr. Evans recommended that all previously held executive session minutes continue to be held closed as the need for confidentiality still exists, and to destroy executive session audio recordings more than two years old, except those that relate to pending litigation. A motion to accept the recommendation of the State's Attorney's Office was made by Mr. Salzer and seconded by Ms. Williams. The motion carried.
A motion to go into executive session for the purpose of potential Acquisition of Real Property was made by Mr. Fennell and seconded by Mr. Watkins.
Regular session was resumed upon a motion by Mr. Fennell and second by Mr. Harding.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Mayer at 2:34 p.m.