Richland County Board September 19th Meeting

Richland County's 2016 governmental funds total fund balance decreased by $302,332 and the General Fund decreased by $323,304 in 2016. That was the word from Bill Moyline of Johnson Block & Company, Inc. Certified Public Accountants at the Richland County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 19th.

The audit report was for the year ending December 2016. The Board of Supervisors also learned that the General Fund balance was $2,038,092 as of December 31, which represented approximately a month and a half of expenditures.

Tax certificates as of December 31 totaled $711,167 compared to $786,392 in 2015 and County wide sales tax revenue totaled 1.15 million in 2016 compared to $1.05 million in 2015.

The county issued a new state trust fund loan during 2016 totaling $10,000,000 to finance Pine Valley Community Village construction. Pine Valley recorded operating revenues of $6.66 million and experienced an operating loss of $1.77 million. This loss was offset by a County property tax levy of $243,689 and $860,900 of supplemental payments.

Observations in the audit show: Intergovernmental revenues are the largest single revenue source. The most significant intergovernmental revenues are shared taxes in the amount of $1.17 million payable in July and November and Health & Human Services in the amount of $4.55 million payable monthly based on contract. Local property taxes have increased approximately 3.6% over the 2011 level. In 2016 Health & Social Services and Public Safety expenditures were approximately 71% of total governmental expenditures. The County's valuation over an eight year period has rebounded back to the approximate value in 2009. Surrounding counties have experienced similar growth and decline in the past eight years. Like other counties, Richland County has used the half percent sales tax to limit property tax increases. As of December 31, 2016, general obligation debt limitation totals $55.68 million; debt subject to limitation totals $25.3 million. The County has approximately 54.5% of its debt capacity remaining.

A resolution was approved for two personnel changes in the Children's Services Unit of the Department of Health & Human Services. The purpose of the changes is to achieve the best organizational structure of the department. The board approved the elimination of position of the Children's Protective Services Lead Worker, which is vacant at this time and create the position of Child Protective Services/Juvenile Justice Supervisor at a probationary rate of $27.24 an hour with an increase to $29.10 after six months.

In other action Board members approved: the temporary appointment of Bill Condon as acting county highway commissioner through November 30; permission for the Richland County Veterans Service Officer to apply for and receive a grant from the State of Wisconsin to be used to reimburse the County for costs of transporting eligible veterans to Veterans Administration appointments between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018; for the Veterans Services Office to receive grants from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs not to exceed $8,500 per year; and improvements on county owned land to be done entirely with donated funds from the Joan Orton-McCollum Foundation in the amount of $30,000 this year and another $30,000 on May 1, 2018 to Southwest Partners which in turn will use the money to pay the entire cost of improvement projects at Pier Park and the County Fairgrounds.

The board also approved changes in personnel matters at Pine Valley Community Village. The call in rate for the Certified Nursing Assistant position rate of pay is changed from $14.50 to $17.50 an hour; the probationary period for all positions is changed from 936 hours worked in no less than the first six months of employment to three months or 468 hours of actual work, which ever is greater; the position of Nurse Technician job classification and salary plan to be changed to Medication Aid; and an amendment to the outsourcing food preparation contract from September to October.

Two employees at Pine Valley Community Village were also recognized for their service. Debra Schaller retired August 31, and was recognized for nearly 21 years of service. Joan Bailey will retire as of September 30 and was recognized for nearly 37 years of service.