Governing Board Public Budget Hearing, September 25, 2013

Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Time: 
5:30 p.m.
Minutes: 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 – 5:30 P.M.

Headquarters Library – Meeting Room A

401 East University Avenue

Gainesville, Florida

 

The Alachua County Library District Governing Board met for the second Public Hearing on the Budget.

 

PRESENT:  Chair Lee Pinkoson, presiding, Vice-Chair Susan Bottcher, Governors Charles S. Chestnut IV, Yvonne Hinson-Rawls, and Leanetta McNealy, Ph. D.

 

ALSO PRESENT:   Library Director Shaney T. Livingston, Assistant County Attorney William Harlan, Assistant Clerk/Finance Director Todd Hutchison, Deputy Clerk Bob Decker

 

The meeting was not televised.

 

Chair Pinkoson opened the meeting at 5:31 P.M.

 

I.       APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

 

          Governor Chestnut moved to approve the Agenda.  The motion carried 5-0 with Governor Bottcher out of the room.

 

II.      INTRODUCTION TO THE HEARING ON THE LIBRARY DISTRICT’S BUDGET

 

Chair Pinkoson stated, “This is the Public Hearing as required by Chapter 200, Florida Statutes.  Chapter 200 as amended requires that a Final Public Hearing on the Budget be preceded 2 to 5 days by a notice of the Hearing."

 

          “Here is proof that such notice has been given, and that a summary of the adopted tentative Library District budget has been provided for public review by means of advertisement in the Gainesville Sun of Friday, September 20, 2013 pursuant to these requirements."

 

          “The proposed final millage rate for operating purposes is 1.3638.   This rate is less than the rolled-back rate of 1.3857 mills described in Chapter 200 of the Florida Statutes.  The proposed final millage for debt services is 0.0950.  The total final millage rate for the Library District is 1.4588 mills."

 

          “Citizens’ comments will be taken following the overview by the Library Director.  All citizens who wish to be heard should wait until the appropriate time when they will be individually recognized by the Chair.  This ensures that every citizen will be heard in an orderly manner.  I will identify each speaker and ask that speaker to address the Board.  In order to expedite hearing your comments, we request that speakers limit their comments to five minutes.  Please do not applaud or take other actions which might intimidate a speaker with a different point of view."

 

          “This hearing will continue until everyone who wishes to address the Governing Board has an opportunity to speak."

 

          “We will now begin with an overview by the County Attorney of the truth-in-millage legislation.”

 

III.    OVERVIEW OF TRUTH-IN-MILLAGE LEGISLATION

 

          Governor Bottcher entered the room at 5:34 P.M.

 

          Assistant County Attorney William Harlan stated, “In 1980, the Florida Legislature adopted what is known as the Truth-in-Millage legislation or TRIM, as it’s called.  The goal of the legislation was to ensure that taxpayers were advised of the public hearings at which the local taxing authorities’ budget and millage rates are considered and adopted.  Each year, the Property Appraiser completes an assessment of the value of all property and certifies to each taxing authority the taxable value of the property within its jurisdiction.  Each taxing authority then notifies the Property Appraiser of its proposed millage rate, its rolled-back rate, and the date, time, and place of the public hearing to consider the proposed millage rate and the adjusted tentative budget.  Once the Property Appraiser receives the information, he sends a notice by first class mail to every taxpayer on the assessment roll.  The notice contains the information from the taxing authorities as to the proposed millage rate and the time and place of the public hearing.  The notice sent to taxpayers is called the TRIM notice.  The TRIM notice lists what the taxes were for the prior year, what the taxes will be if the proposed budget changes are made, and what the taxes will be if no budget changes are made.  This information is listed for each taxing authority.  The notice also lists all voted levies for debt service.  The purpose of the TRIM notice is to provide taxpayers with sufficient basic information to enable them to participate in the public hearing process.”

 

IV.     OVERVIEW OF THE TENTATIVE 2012-2013 DISTRICT-WIDE BUDGET

 

          Library Director Shaney Livingston stated, “The Fiscal Year 2013-14 final budget reflects a 0.56 percent decrease in Personal Services, a 1.4 percent decrease in Operating Expenditures, a 0.8 percent decrease in reserves, and a 135.89 percent increase in Transfer to Capital Projects.  The overall budget has increased by 9.04 percent over the current year budget.  Let me just point out that the reason the budget has increased this year is due to a large transfer to the Capital Projects Fund.  If we did not factor in the large transfer to Capital Projects, the operating budget would be decreased by 0.75 percent or $131,000.00 less than the current year.  In 2001 the millage for Capital Projects reached its sunset.  Since that time we have been funding Capital Projects through transfers from the General Fund.  We have always transferred a minimum of a tenth of a mill, but this year due to a healthy fund balance we have decided to transfer a larger amount.  The current year’s millage is 1.3638 mills and generates $15,447,897.00 in the current year.  The same millage rate next year will generate $15.3 million in revenue which is a reduction of $99,000.00”.  The growth in the tax base is -0.67 percent.  The fact that there is a reduction in revenue next year is really not a major hardship on the District as our budget came in $131,000 less than the current year.  This budget does not include any COLA or performance adjustment.  The major decrease in Personal Services is due to retirement.  In the Operating Expenditures, the major decreases are in communication services, rental and leases, and repair and maintenance.  Some of the service enhancements in the budget for next year are to maintain service levels (there will be no reduction in any services,) realign staff as needed to provide better services, computer classes, an additional 2 FTEs to provide adequate service at Cone Park, an additional 5 hours opened per week at Cone Park, and computer upgrades.  In the Capital Projects budget, we will transfer $3,000,000.00 from the General Fund.  The Capital Projects budget includes major projects such as the completion of the Cone Park Branch in the beginning of the first quarter, converting the Teen Space to a quiet reading room in the Alachua Branch, replacement of the Airedale chiller in the computer room, an expansion of the Newberry and Library Partnership Branches, and ongoing routine maintenance and repair.

 

“Mr. Chair, that concludes my presentation.  Are there any questions?”

 

V.      CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

 

          There were no citizens present who wished to provide comments to the Board.

 

VI.     ADJUSTMENTS BY MOTION TO THE RECOMMENDED BUDGET

 

          There were no amendments proposed by the Governing Board.

 

VII.    ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ROLLED-BACK RATE AND ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS

 

A.      Announcement of the Rolled-Back Rate

 

          Chair Pinkoson stated, “In accordance with the recent change in the Florida Statutes, public reading of the millage-levy resolutions is no longer necessary.  The statutes now require that the name of the taxing authority, the millage rate to be levied, and the rolled-back rate be publicly announced.

 

“Accordingly, the Alachua County Library District has determined that a final millage rate of 1.3638 mills is necessary to fund the general Library budget.  The final millage rate is less than the rolled-back rate of 1.3857 mills.  The Alachua County Library District has further determined that a final millage rate of 0.0950 mills is necessary to fund the final debt service budget.”

 

B.       Adoption of Resolution 13-08 Establishing the District-wide Final Millage

 

          Governor McNealy moved to adopt Resolution 13-08 establishing the District-wide final millage rates.  The motion carried 6-0.

 

C.       Adoption of Resolution 13-09 Approving the Final District-wide Budget

 

          Governor Hinson-Rawls moved to adopt Resolution 13-09 adopting the final District-wide budget.  The motion carried 6-0.

 

VIII.  ADJOURNMENT

 

          There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 P.M.

 

 

 

________________________

J. K. Irby, Clerk to the Library

District Governing Board