Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 8, 2012

Meeting to be held about courthouse repairs

The focus of the meeting will be energy performance contractors bids

By RORYE O’CONNOR
rorye.oconnor@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — The Jefferson County Public Safety Committee and full board will hold meetings Tuesday concerning energy performance contractors for potential courthouse repairs.

“We will be comparing bids from M360 and Ameresco,” said Robert White, Jefferson County Board Chairman. “They will be present to explain their bids, so we can plug in numbers to make sense of them and get a handle of what’s being quoted here.”

He said the bids differ significantly, by as much as a $2 million difference.

In addition, the Public Safety Committee is expected to hear from an advocate for a performance contracting project and go into executive session concerning collective bargaining issues.  

White said Scott Taaka, the Public Safety Committee chairman, is involved in maintenance and the renovations to Crossroads Community Hospital, and he has expressed an interest in a project overseer for any improvements made to the courthouse.

“They claim they will avoid cost overruns,” he said.

During the full board meeting an action item is listed for the revision of Jefferson County Codes and Ordinances concerning the creation of a Technology Committee.

“When we get that thing formed, it will give us some breathing room, and we will kick off that task force this month,” White said. “When they have their committee meeting before our regular meeting, they will meet with Arthur Agency to discuss the website and a framework for how we want to get that done.”

He said the task force’s next step will be to determine what kind of computer tablets will be provided for the incoming county board members.

“They will decide the platform and the user agreement,” White said. “We are not just giving these to the board members.”

White said concerning the executive session planned for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining that the county and deputies from the Jefferson County Fraternal Order of Police are looking to approve the FOP contract.

He said for the first time since 1996, a contract is expected to be approved without the two entities going into arbitration.

“The union contract negotiations have become brutal, because we are trying to undo things from 30 years ago that don’t make sense anymore for employers or employees,” he said, adding that while an arbitrator was present at negotiations, the two entities were able to come to an agreement, which must be approved by the board.

The full board is not expected to discuss the budget, although the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget remains open until its approval, which will be discussed at the regular board meeting later this month.

The Jefferson County Board tentatively approved the $12.78 million budget during the September meeting, with board members Jeremy Hall, Curt Grothoff and Ted Buck voting against the budget as it stands.

The four largest expected revenue line items are housing Immigration and Customs Enforcement prisoners, at about $2.6 million; state income tax, at $1.55 million; one quarter percent supplemental sales tax, at $1.3 million; and obligated public safety tax series A and B bonds, at $950,375.  

The largest expenditure expected in the FY12-13 budget is jail services, at $1.6 million, which comprises an expected cost of $1 million in correctional officer salaries, $209,000 for jail shift supervisors, $120,000 in overtime pay, $95,000 for nurses’ salaries, $46,550 for a jail administrator, $41,000 for a maintenance supervisor, $40,000 for mandatory training for correctional officers, and $500 for trip expenses.

The second largest expenditure in the county’s budget is sheriff’s office services, at $1.5 million, which includes $1.2 million for sheriff’s merit employees and $100,000 for merit employee overtime, $65,000 for the sheriff’s salary, about $33,000 for a bookkeeper/secretary, $20,000 for training and $4,000 for trip reimbursement.

The third and fourth largest expenditures expected in the budget are probation services at $1.5 million and obligated safety tax series A and B bonds at $950,375.

The tentative budget is projected slightly lower than last year’s budget, which was at $12.87 million. Revenue from housing ICE prisoners showed an increase from last year, which was at $2.2 million, while state income tax decreased from $1.7 million. One quarter sales tax increased from $1.2 million decreased from $1.1 million.

In the FY11-12 budget, the four largest expenditures expected were sheriff’s office services, at $1.5 million; jail services, at $1.5 million; obligated safety tax series A and B bonds, at $1.1 million; and group health insurance, at $800,000.

The tentative Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget remains on display at the county clerk’s office for public inspection pending its approval.