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Finance Committee Minutes for January 2012 (unedited)
Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:51:20 AM - Monroe Ohio

by Angela S. Wasson, Clerk of Counil

Committee of Council
January 31, 2012
The Finance Committee of Council met at 6:00 pm on January 31, 2012 in the Council Library located at 233 South Main Street, Monroe, Ohio.
Present were: Suzi Rubin, Council Member; Lora Stillman, Council Member; Steve Black, Council Member; Kacey Waggaman, Director of Finance, William J. Brock, City Manager/City Engineer; and Angela S. Wasson, Assistant to the City Manager/Clerk of Council.
Mrs. Waggaman reported that the year is still not closed, but it is pretty relative as far as she is doing mostly adjustments between funds or line items making sure things are posted correctly, which is not going to affect the overall fund balance or cash. We are making sure that all the purchase orders that can be closed are closed. The General Fund balance should be ending with an available balance of about $5.6 million, which is very good compared to the projected $4.2 million. The tax reports from December were provided because that was final. We were down again in December, but overall still ended with a 3% increase. December was not as bad as November. Mrs. Stillman asked if Mrs. Waggaman knew what happened in November. Mrs. Waggaman explained that the withholding area was down the most and she wasn’t really sure, but one of the things is Home Depot probably scaled back because one of their other distribution centers was opened in Chicago. Mr. Brock explained that when the Chicago distribution center opened it took away some of the work at Monroe’s distribution center.
Mrs. Rubin attended a meeting of treasurers about the income tax collection. A lot of them were talking about how their collections were down in November and it doesn’t make sense unless there were fewer payrolls in November. She noted that it could have been a timing issue.
Mrs. Stillman asked about the status of the delinquencies. Mrs. Waggaman replied that they work on them every month and we are now making people that want to be on a payment plan sign up for an ACH. Initially, they were coming to Mayor’s Court and the Magistrate sends them to income tax to work something out. When they missed their first payment they were back in Mayor’s Court.
Mrs. Stillman asked how things were working out with the collection agency the City hired. Mrs. Waggaman has not provided them with any accounts yet and needs to connect them with Med3000.
Mr. Black referred to a previous report by Mr. Brock about a house bill for state-wide collections. Mr. Brock advised that it is just preliminary to try to make it easier for collection on past due accounts. Mr. Black asked if it would be a conflict with the agency we have contracted with. Mrs. Waggaman noted that we are not required to give the agency a certain amount.
Mrs. Waggaman referred to the cash reconciliation for November and the First Financial accounts are closed with the exception of the cell tower accounts. She is working with Mr. Chesar on this and didn’t believe there were any additional bills we would have to pay for the
inspector on the cell towers. That money just needs to be returned to the cell tower owners once it has been finalized. Mrs. Stillman asked if that money is able to be used to fulfill the Planning and Zoning requirements for shrubbery as most of it is dead. Mrs. Stillman also noted that the power station on Mason Road also has dead landscaping.
Mrs. Waggaman informed the Committee that we have about 1.3 million at Fifth Third, which was more but we pay the fire truck lease payment out of there. The lease was for a fire truck and we have two more payments to make. She would like to move that money to get a better interest rate and as we are now making about $4.00 per month. She would like to move it to Baird which is more of a managed system and a good compliment to what we already have. Through the Center for Local Government their fees are lower because they are part of that program. Mr. Black asked if this was bond money. Mrs. Waggaman explained that they prefunded the lease so the bank put in $1 million that was sitting there until we got the truck and then we added to it, so we still have money sitting there. It was not a long term debt issue. Mrs. Stillman asked how much she has researched their performance. Mrs. Waggaman attended a presentation and they had a selection committee of her peers from local jurisdictions. She recommended that the investment policy be looked at again this year.
Mrs. Waggaman reported that she has open office hours every Friday to help anyone with questions on Munis. She met with the City Manager’s office on the payroll matters and will go live with the City Manager’s office, Development Department, and Finance Department on February 6th, but also continue to use paper copies to work out any issues that arise.
With regard to utility billing Mrs. Waggaman has an appointment tomorrow morning with the Crystal Report representative. Mr. Black asked if this was part of the contract with Munis. Mrs. Waggaman advised that the implementer was part of it, but the Crystal Report was a separate purchase order approximately two years ago in the amount of $3,600. The report is a complicated report, but it is what we need to send to Butler County for the sewer.
Mrs. Waggaman requested that the finance reports be reviewed as Mr. Kelley requested a certain type of report, but she has not had an opportunity to work on that. Mr. Brock commented that Mr. Kelley asked about that. Mrs. Rubin referred to a previous report that the Committee received before with the percentages. She recommended that some of the items be flagged with an explanation to avoid additional questions.
Mr. Brock stated that the goal would be to make sure everybody is happy with the reporting and to make sure all of Council is getting the same report. Mr. Black asked if there was a way in Munis to show the percentages reflected and that we did earmark to spend a certain percentage in a certain time. Mrs. Waggaman said she would have to work with that. Mr. Black said that he has been taking a complete export from Munis and putting in excel and looking at the percentage to see where we are at.
Mrs. Rubin said that one thing we had on the previous report is a month-to-date and it may be an easier way to accomplish that same thing.
Mrs. Waggaman reported on the TIF reimbursements with the school district. The make whole agreements are figured one time per year after the second half and it takes into consideration the school’s funding formula, which they have changed every year. In 2010 they were on the guarantee formula, so it didn’t matter what the state formula was. In 2009 from being not on the guarantee formula to going to the guarantee formula took them from $246,000 to $522,000 for what we reimbursed them. Last year was $501,000. In 2011 they were not on the guarantee and they changed the formula to a bridge formula. There was not the same level of detail, so she was not sure how to calculate and they were between treasurers. She gave them an estimate of $250,000. They budgeted to get $500,000. They requested the City to pay them the additional $250,000 and work it out later. She received information from the state, which came out to only an additional $80,000, so that is what she sent them. They still need to review it because that is her best calculation. Mrs. Stillman asked who is responsible for this. Mrs. Waggaman commented that it was not her responsibility. Mr. Brock said we are not going to give them $250,000 because there was nothing in the contract to do that.
Mrs. Rubin asked how that affects our year-end adjustments. Mrs. Waggaman said the $80,000 was cut in January, so it didn’t matter. Mrs. Rubin had a question about the Corridor 75 TIF from a board member. Mrs. Waggaman explained that the TIF runs on the property so it is just the land we are getting revenue now. Future negotiations are with the City, but the school was asking if they could object to any abatements and they have already agreed to the abatements. The school is not part of the development agreement. Mr. Brock explained in the TIF agreement process the school gave up their rights for future abatements on the property, so as long as that TIF agreement is in place they waive that right. Mr. Black asked how that agreement could be broken. Mrs. Waggaman said you would have to dissolve the TIF but you cannot dissolve the TIF because the debt that is issued. They knew they were giving it up at the time because they wanted post ’94 CRAs in the rest of the City. When she met with the new treasurer, she has never dealt with TIFs before so Mrs. Waggaman has been trying to explain it to her. We have to wait and only give it to them once per year, so for cash flow purposes it would be better to give it to them at each half. Mr. Black has asked if we incur any penalties if we do not pay what we are supposed to pay. Mrs. Waggaman thought there was a provision in the agreement that if you cannot agree you can take it to the County Treasurer.
Mrs. Waggaman indicated that the year-end financials will be available next month.
Mr. Black asked if we have spent any money on grievances that no longer exist. Mr. Brock advised they have not been cancelled. He pointed out that what they have grieved is not grievable, so the grievances have been denied.
The Finance Committee of Council adjourned at 6:51 pm.
 

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