Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Will County Finance Committee met October 2.

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Oct 27, 2018

Will County Finance Committee met October 2.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

I. Call To Order / Roll Call

Chair Mike Fricilone called the meeting to order at 10:10 am

Attendee Name; Title; Status; Arrived:

Mike Fricilone Chair Present

Ray Tuminello Vice-Chair Present

Steve Balich Member Present

Darren Bennefield Member Present

Gloria Dollinger Member Present

Kenneth E. Harris Member Present

Cory Singer Member Absent

Lauren Staley-Ferry Member Present

Jacqueline Traynere Member Present

Also Present: J. Moustis, H. Brooks, R. Freitag and M. Johannsen.

Present from State's Attorney's Office: M. Tatroe.

II. Pledge Of Allegiance To The Flag

Mr. Bennefield led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

III. Approval Of Minutes

1. WC Finance Committee - Regular Meeting - Sep 4, 2018 10:00 am

Result: Approved [Unanimous]

Mover: Steve Balich, Member

Seconder: Kenneth E. Harris, Member

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger, Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer

IV. Old Business

1. Discussion Re: New Policy for Process & Procedures of BMO Procurement Card

(Duffy Blackburn) Mr. Fricilone indicated this item would be discussed in November.

V. Other Old Business

VI. New Business

1. Discussion Re: Apple & Android Pay Options for Property Tax Payments

(Steve Weber)

Treasurer Weber explained Apple and Android pay options for property tax payments. The app allows for reoccurring payments and escrow of funds through a smart phone. The app will allow mobile home owners to pay without coming to the building. If you own multiple rental homes you will have the ability to pay for multiple PIN with one transaction.

Mr. Tuminello asked what is the fee the County pays for the transactions?

Mr. Weber replied the fees are 2.28% and paid by the taxpayer.

Mr. Tuminello clarified this does not affect our budget, because it is a user fee.

Mr. Fricilone asked Mr. Weber to come back after the app is being used to give an update.

2. 6475 : Discussion Re: FY2019 Budget - Revenue


Mr. Fricilone stated today we are discussing the revenue side of the budget. Please ask any questions you have.

Ms. Howard reviewed the attached spreadsheet. Revenue projections are always done conservatively. We look at the current year actuals; previous year receipts; past trends or information received from departments or the State. Revenue remains relatively flat. Overall revenue is up about $4.8 million or 2.4%, mostly due to the increase in property taxes.

Mr. Moustis asked for information on Sunny Hill revenue.

Ms. Howard reviewed the multiple line items. The revenue is almost $6 million.

Mr. Moustis stated does the $6 million include Medicaid?

Ms. Howard replied yes, Medicaid is line item 702.

Mr. Moustis stated most of our residents are Medicaid pay. A $19 million total budget divided by the number of residents; we are spending $124,000 per year, per resident. We did an audit of the nursing home; the only thing implemented was reducing the census. We need to work on both the revenue and expense side. These numbers are not sustainable long term. We need more revenue at the nursing home. We are working on this; we cannot change this tomorrow, but we have to focus on sustainable costs for the nursing home or we will not be able to run it. I have always been a big supporter of Sunny Hill. Is it just an expense problem or if there is a revenue problem; it might be both. We need solutions or we cannot continue to operate because we don’t have the money.

Mr. Fricilone added the corporate fund is subsidizing $8.3 million to run the facility.

Mr. Moustis stated the audit indicated we would always subsidize it because of the matching money between $2.2 to $2.3 million, but the amount has gone up considerably.

Mrs. Traynere stated within the U.S. healthcare system, we tend to spend more than other countries with less successful outcomes. How do the numbers correlate to changing the rooms to singles? When you make changes like that, your revenue will be less, but you still have expenses. Did we do a study before we went to the single resident rooms and the impact on staffing?

Mr. Moustis replied it was part of the audit. Of the $19 million budget; $16 million is salaries.

Mrs. Traynere stated medial staff is expensive; their wages are competitive.

Mr. Moustis stated when you compare our salaries to the private sector, we are higher than most. Our overall benefit package is higher.

Mrs. Traynere asked to see a wage survey.

Mr. Moustis stated our benefit package is generous and doubt the private sector offers the same benefits.

Mrs. Traynere asked have we ever compared our wages to the VA or State nursing homes pay? Where are we in relationship to their benefit package? We are a government entity, not driven by profit.

Mr. Moustis stated my biggest concern is sustainability. This is not a short term fix; it will take a number of years to get expenses stabilized.

Mr. Fricilone stated if we now have half the people, we should have half the nurses, half the linens, etc.

Mrs. Traynere stated a staffing report was discussed at the caucus and it appeared the staff number had been lowered.

Mr. Bennefield asked what was the number reduced from?

Mr. Moustis replied we staffed for 300 people, but never had 300 residents; we were in the 230 to 240 range. During the remodeling one avenue was always closed and that was on-going for years.

Ms. Halverson stated 14 years ago we were at 180 to 190 residents. During construction an avenue closed and we ran between 165 and 170. Our license was not changed because we once you say there is only one person per room, you can never put in two. We maintained the higher number because we shuffled residents from avenue to avenue, room to room for 13 years. We changed the license as often as we could to avoid paying the bed tax. The last license change was the final change and our official license number is 155 and 156 is capacity.

Mr. Bennefield asked why would we ever have 308 beds.

Mr. Moustis stated we were licensed for 308 beds, but never had 308 residents, although we paid the bed tax.

Ms. Halverson stated we have not paid that bed tax for 13 years when it was 280 and has come down annually.

Mr. Palmer stated lets gather the data, look at the old audit and have a discussion. We need to have all the facts. If this is not sustainable, we have to make changes to make it sustainable if we want to keep it going.

Mrs. Ogalla stated reviewed the 2016-2018 staffing changes report and reduction in positions.

Mr. Moustis stated the problem is they made reductions, but the budget has stayed the same and not reflected those changes.

Mrs. Traynere asked are the actuals and the budgeted amounts close or are they returning money?

Mr. Fricilone replied they have not returned money. We are adjusting things to reflect who is working there, not open positions. We are trying to do that in all the departments. If it has been vacant forever, you don’t need the position and if you do need it, come back to the Board and make the request.

Mr. Moustis stated the reductions Mrs. Ogalla mentioned will be reflected in the budget this year; you will see cuts.

Mr. Brooks stated we need a healthy discussion about Sunny Hill. When you mention budgets of $19 million, $16 million, $124,000 per resident in cost, we need more information.

Mr. Fricilone stated this will be an on-going discussion. You might want to concentrate on Sunny Hill and the sub department portion of the budget and look at the line items for linens, laundry and cleaning; it shows the total amount line by line. You will get a sense of the historical spend, then you will see where things need to change.

Mr. Brooks asked will there be another audit?

Mrs. Johannsen replied yes, it needs to be updated.

Mr. Moustis asked Mr. Palmer to bring up at the Executive Committee the need to update the Sunny Hill audit.

Mr. Palmer stated one of the challenges is we only have so much time for Committee meetings. Could some of this conversation take place at Public Health since they follow Sunny Hill throughout the year?

Mr. Moustis stated the operational audit should go to the Public Health Committee.

Mr. Tuminello stated when you do the math on $19 million for 170 residents; is $9,500 per month per bed.

Mr. Fricilone stated we also need to do an operational audit on River Valley as we are going into a new era. We need to look at where we are, where we are going and what we want to do.

Mr. Moustis stated in relation to River Valley and Probation, it is important for the Chief Judge give us a sense of the direction this is going. The State pays for the staff and we pay for the benefits. The Chief Judge thinks there is a possibility of shifting money from detention into treatment; that will impact revenue considerably. They may only fund Probation to 80% so we could see a cut there. If that happens we will have a problem.

Mr. Holland reported it is currently up in the air; at one point it was down to 66% for State funding. There has been talk of a supplemental appropriation in the veto session. We will keep the Committee posted.

Mr. Moustis asked should we plan for some of that? We are in budget year and the revenue is falling short. Could you put in 100%?

Ms. Howard replied the numbers came from the department.

Mr. Holland stated the Supreme Court has requested an additional appropriation for Probation.

Mr. Moustis suggested contacting the legislators, lobbyist and having the Legislative & Policy Committee take up the issue and send letters this is a concern for us.

Mr. Fricilone stated we are looking to fund contingency more because of situations like this. If the LD funds changes we could be looking at $500,000 less.

Ms. Howard stated the Illinois Department of Revenue confirmed there is no special calculation the 10% has been reduced to 5%. The distribution is based on the population of the state.

Discussion took place regarding the lack of revenue coming from the State, elimination or cuts in programming and how the Bond Refund Act will affect the County at the ADF and Probation Department.

Mr. Moustis pointed out on the revenue side we may not realize all the revenue we are budgeting.

FY2018 Budget (Revenue) Handout


Bring budget book with you. Extra copies will not be available.

3. Determination of the Estimate of the Annual Aggregate Levy

(ReShawn Howard)

Mr. Fricilone stated regarding the levy; the Executive talked of taking all the CPI and all new construction, which totals $4.3 million. I am recommending we take $4 million on the levy. The reason is there are a lot of exemptions coming in that will change the number. We have an assessed value of some new property, but there is a question of whether it is new property. That can affect things and change the numbers. I am going to recommend $4 million from CPI and new property once we get the details worked out with the Assessor.

Mr. Tuminello asked is the $4 million increase to the levy inclusive of FICA? You are looking to pull $302,000 from the levy; have you identified $302,000 of expenditures to eliminate?

Mr. Fricilone replied affirmatively.

Mrs. Traynere added I am concerned we may also lose a portion of the probation salaries and we will have to make that up.

Mr. Fricilone stated we have enough good things happening on the expense side and we will be able to cover everything. We will probably put more into contingency than last year, because of that.

Mr. Brooks asked are we sure the good things we have not seen will cover the things you are cutting?

Ms. Howard replied the numbers come directly from the Supervisor of Assessments.

Mr. Moustis stated Ms. Novak thinks the numbers may not be as high as initially predicted.

Ms. Novak stated the Board of Review is in session and there could be some changes. I have concern about the new property number. If the number shifts, if new property is less, the new property becomes less of a percent of the whole, which means the limiting rates goes down and we could end up under the $4.3 million. With the numbers you could levy for $4.3; whether you end up with $4.3 million it may not happen and end up with only $4 million.

Mr. Tuminello stated essentially the $4.302 million number could come down with new construction. There is the potential if we go to that number we could have a tax rate increase. By lowering to $4 million, most likely we will have a tax rate decrease.

Ms. Novak stated the calculation format used by all taxing bodies is the same formula, same mechanism. You use the CPI and new construction and your bottom line is whatever rate shows and the amount the rate gets you. From there you make decisions we don’t need $4.3 million, we will take $4 million. It is not whether you are taking part of the CPI and part of the new construction, it is the bottom line. With taking CPI and new construction you can get $4.3 million and the rate is lower than the prior year rate. That will not require you do to a black box. When you finalize the levy you can take only $4 million because that is all you need.

Mr. Moustis stated the levy is not set until April and you can lower the levy in April, but you cannot raise it. I would rather error on the side of caution.

Mr. Fricilone stated we are reducing the tax rate for all Will County residents. We are growing and that helps. Even if you hire no new employees, the other costs continue to rise. Mrs. Johannsen and I are going through the budget line by line to see if there are ways to cut. Over the last few years we have cut out a lot of waste. We need to look at the open positions. At some point you need a certain number of people to operate and there is a cost associated with that. You have to continue to factor for inflation. The tax rate is going down; depending on the assessed value taxes may stay even or get a break because of the rate. We are doing everything we can for the tax burden and give them the needed services.

Mr. Moustis asked Ms. Howard why the fees for services has gone down?

Ms. Howard explained the factors causing the reduction in fees; decrease in Recorder fees, Court Service and Security, Sunny Hill and Circuit Clerk fees.

Mr. Bennefield asked can you put a dollar amount of the CPI and the new construction?

Ms. Howard responded the new property is $1.8 million and CPI is $2.5 million.

Motion to Set Levy at $4 Million

Result: Moved Forward [5 To 3]

Seconder: Gloria Dollinger, Member

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger

Nays: Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer

4. Renewing Contract for Annual Audit

(Rita Weiss)

Result: Moved Forward [Unanimous]

To: Will County Board

Mover: Jacqueline Traynere, Member

Seconder: Ray Tuminello, Vice-Chair

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger, Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer

5. Assignment of Tax Sale Certificates

(Julie Shetina)

Result: Approved [Unanimous]

To: Will County Board

Mover: Jacqueline Traynere, Member

Seconder: Steve Balich, Member

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger, Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer

6. Authorizing County Executive to Execute Necessary Documents for Delinquent Tax Program

(Julie Shetina)

Result: Moved Forward [Unanimous]

To: Will County Board

Mover: Jacqueline Traynere, Member

Seconder: Steve Balich, Member

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger, Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer

VII. Other New Business

VIII. Public Comment

IX. Chairman's Report / Announcements

X. Executive Session

XI. Adjournment

1. Motion to Adjourn at 11:14 am

Result: Approved [Unanimous]

Mover: Jacqueline Traynere, Member

Seconder: Ray Tuminello, Vice-Chair

Ayes: Fricilone, Tuminello, Balich, Bennefield, Dollinger, Harris, Staley-Ferry, Traynere

Absent: Singer


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