Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 21, 2014

County will make payroll

By RICK HAYES rick.hayes@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — With three payrolls to be distributed this month, county officials feared they might have to tap into the emergency payroll reserve fund.

County Treasurer Dan Knox reported at Thursday’s Fiscal Committee meeting due to a $164,800 income tax payment being received from the comptroller’s office, only a portion of that reserve fund will be needed to make the March 31 payroll.

“We were all but 100 percent sure that we were going to have use all of the $131,000 in our reserve fund to meet payroll. Now I think it’s reasonable to say that we won’t have to use all of it. We may have to use a portion of it,” Knox said. “The other thing to keep in mind is in April we will have to make our first unemployment tax payment, which is usually always high.” Knox estimated that payment to be about $50,000.

“It’s going to be nice to have that cushion in our salary protection fund. If we need it, we’ll have it in reserve,” Knox said, adding, “As bad as this month could’ve been with three payrolls, we’re actually not doing too bad.”

The county has a balance of $191,000 in the General Corporate working cash fund with monthly claims of $65,868 to be paid at Monday’s full board meeting. The county also has about $1.8 million in the Public Safety Tax account.

Out of the January claims, the treasurer’s office released about

$40,000; and most of the December claims have been paid, Knox reported.

The treasurer also reported after meetings with the officials of the Second Judicial Court probation department, the county will be receiving an additional $2,333 per month to reconcile expenses. He also reported probation officials have agreed to pay $50,000 in backpay in two or three installments.

The Fiscal Committee took no action the new policy to restructure payment of claims.

“Our monthly claims are still a problem, but quite frankly, we’re still working on that process to clean things up and move things faster. We’re working with the state’s attorney to make sure we do everything legally and we also want to make sure we’re doing something that makes sense. We’re taking our time because we want to do this thing once, and right,” Knox said.

The Committee also tabled a new countywide credit card policy, although Administrative Assistant Suzy Tate reported the county has learned it can’t do purchase orders. It was reported State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman also has concerns about the policy — specifically, whether an ordinance code should be changed and he recommended the policy be approved by resolution.

The Technology Committee failed to have a quorum and took no action on a proposal presented by Bob Hoyler, CEO of Municipal Media Solutions, to create advertising on the county’s web site.

Hoyler said there is no cost to the county or the taxpayers for this service. The company has been in business about five years and has several clients, including the Cook County Assessor’s Office.

The company would sell local, regional and national advertising for the web site and place the ads on heavy traffic pages on the county web site. Hoyler emphasized the company is very particular about the ad content, noting guns and alcohol sales are prohibited, as well as any pornographic materials.

The county would receive 60 percent of the revenues from advertising sales; the company receives 40 percent of the revenue.

Typically, counties of comparable size receive about $2,000 to $3,000 monthly, Hoyler reported.