Richland Center Finance Committee October 2nd Meeting

Damage the hail storm caused April 13th was front and center at the October 2nd Personnel & Finance Committee meeting of the Richland County Board of Supervisors.

The original dollar figure for compensation mentioned by Jim Mead, the insurance adjuster, at a previous meeting was $85,000. The company has now offered two options: to have all the work done, or only fix major damage and to not fix any of the cosmetic work. By not doing the cosmetic work the county would receive a $150,000 reimbursement check. The insurance adjuster stated that depending on which option the county chooses, the premiums could go up 10 to 20 percent. The issue is that what the county feels the costs of repairs will be and what the insurance company is willing to pay out are not close. There are currently roofs at Health & Human Services and the University which are being contested as well as solar panels at Symons Recreation Complex. The committee voted to have all work done and to get an arbitrator to work with them in dealing with an engineer and the insurance company to get the work done and paid for. It was noted that the board needs to get busy on solving the issues and getting the work done as they are on a two year time frame from the time the damage was incurred, which leaves 18 months.

The Personnel & Finance Committee went over the proposed budget formula for 2019. Some of the biggest changes in the formula include: a loss of tax levy for Pine Valley Community Village; $200,000 taken from the Highway Department; a $300,000 increase to Health & Human Services institutional costs; and no money allotted to the contingency fund. The committee approved moving the proposed 2019 budget forward.

The committee also looked at Capital Projects for the next five years of which focused on the Sheriff’s Department radio system and 9-1-1 system. Chief Deputy, Chad Kanable, reported the radio system will cost around $3 million with a two year completion date. The 9-1-1 system will cost around $200,000. Many are hoping that money will become available from the state as the 9-1-1 system upgrade is a state wide issue.

After budgeting a ten percent increase in health insurance cost for 2019, the Personnel & Finance Committee approved the health insurance rates for 2019 at an increase of seven percent.

All decisions made by the Richland County Personnel & Finance Committee will be taken to the full board of supervisors for discussion and approval.