One of the steps in the budget process in Barry County is the opportunity for department heads to appeal County Administrator Michael Brown’s projected appropriations for the next budget year.
Commissioners did not make any decisions Tuesday, but listened and asked questions; they will address the requests in depth at a special session after the regular board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Equalization Director Tim Vandermark asked for funding for a part time employee, saying the staff has struggled for the past year, and when they are out doing field work, the office is closed. A 30-hour per week clerk would be paid $13.02 an hour for a salary of $20,560.80 annually, with benefits of $22,214 or less, depending on benefits the employee receives.
The commissioners will be looking for ways to reduce the benefit costs at the meeting. Vandermark said with a clerk, staff would be freed up to do the work they now contract for $17,500 and that amount to lower the cost to $25,172.
Catherine Getty, of the Parks & Recreation Board, asked to restore a previous amount of $20,400 for the board to be able to award $5,000 grants for various recreational projects for schools, villages and townships around the county. Also, more funding is needed to add hours for the part time administrator. Getty reminded the commission that the county’s strategic plan calls for making Barry County a premier recreation destination. “We’re working to do that,” she said.
After an explanation of the budget process, Paul Wing and Larry Neil from the Agriculture Preservation Board requested $2,950 to cover its expenses.
Collette Scrimger of the Barry Eaton District Health Department requested an additional $18,427 for department operations. The health department requested $459,653 in funding, the budget recommendation is $441,266. //
In other business Tuesday, the committee of the whole recommended:
* approval of a resolution verifying the commission’s approval of the Master Agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation for 2017 and allow Barry County Transit Director William Voigt to authorize MDOT/ Barry County Transit projects on behalf of the commission.
* approval of a request by Equalization Director Tim Vandermark to approve the tax form to allow the county collect winter taxes. The State Tax Commission requires Form L-4029 be approved by the board by the end of September.
* approval of Title IV-D Cooperative Reimbursement Program contract for a five-year renewal of funding for the Friend of the Court for an estimated $5,166, 881.75 over the five year span, the amount set by the Office of Child Support.
* approval of a request for entry into PA 116, a state Farmland Preservation Program, commonly called PA 116, for Joshua and Megan Chase for 97 acres in Section 34 of Carlton Township. The request was reviewed and recommended by the Planning Commission.
* approval of a request by IT Director David Shinavier to accept renewal of a contract with Iserv Company to provide telephone and internet service for three years beginning Sept. 13. Shinavier said Iserv, based in Kentwood, has been a “solid telecom provider,” that had asked for the renewal since the county is changing the service address from the courthouse to the community building. The monthly cost remains the same, he said.
* approval of budget amendment B-16 containing a large numbers of adjustments to the income and expenditures in the budget, explained by Administrator Michael Brown. The net result is an increase of $189,490 in revenues and also in expenditures and does not change the bottom line.