The Butler County Commission heard a couple of areas of concern in the budget, as well as about an increase in health insurance fees to the county due to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
County commissioners were told the county will have to pay $44,000 in taxes for the new health care, which is a mandatory tax for every employer. In addition, there will be another tax of between $10,000 and $12,000.
Also, two areas of the budget have seen a decrease in revenues from what was budgeted.
The jail was one of those. There has been a 32 percent decrease in revenue collection for the jail due to fewer federal prisoners being housed there. They currently have enough in reserves but if this trend continues it is something with which they will have to deal.
The other area was the EMS department, which also has seen a decrease in revenue.
Also along the lines of funding, another item to come before the commission was to renew a contract for bank cards.
The county does contracts on a three-year basis and they are now reading to send out requests for proposal for purchasing cards. They currently earn .4 basis points on purchases made with the card, which generates about $6,000 a year for the county.
Currently, 217 county employees have a credit card, something that caused concern for Commissioner Peggy Palmer.
She requested a list of everyone who has a card, saying she felt that was a large number of the about 400 county employees.
Brandon Kaufman, finance director, said the cards cut out the need for petty cash. he said the cards have a lot less risk than with petty cash.
“Petty cash is limited,” said Palmer, “and we don’t use purchase orders, and I don’t know why we don’t. Other governmental entities have to. Why don’t we do that?”
County Administrator Will Johnson said that was because they don’t have purchasing department staffing.
“It’s just a good accountability system,” Palmer said.
Kaufman explained there is oversight in the system. Every two weeks they get the bills in and individuals submit a detailed receipt of purchases to their supervisor. The supervisor has to approve that then forwards it on to administration.
“I go over purchasing cards every two weeks,” Kaufman said.
Commissioner Ed Myers pointed out sometimes credit card statements can be a bit cryptic in the list of purchases.
Commissioner Jeff Masterson pointed out this was a policy discussion they would need to have with department heads if they wanted something changed because department heads decide who get cards.
Page 2 of 2 - They approved sending out RFPs to banks in the county 4-0, Commissioner Dan Woydziak was absent.
For the rest of the county business, see the story at www.eldoradotimes.com.
In other business, the commission:
• approved 4-1 (with Palmer opposed) the low bid from Caravan Carpet for $9,758 for the replacement of carpet and tile at the Health/Extension Building on the extension side. Palmer felt the money should come out of the extension budget, especially since the county already provides funds them.
• authorized 5-0 sending proposals for financial advisory firms for their services.
• approved a rezoning request by Brian McGinleu and Mary Jeffries which would allow dividing land near Augusta into two parcels. The request was to rezone it from agriculture to R-6B and R-6D. The first allows for parcels of 5 to 9.99 acres and the second is for parcels from 29 to 39.99 acres. The lot split still has to be approved by the City of Augusta.