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Commissioner minutes September 11, 2017

September 27, 2017

September,11, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 by Commissioner Goffena. Commissioner Borner and Berry were present.

The minutes from August 21st, 28th and September 5th, 2017 were reviewed and approved by all Commissioners.

Sheriff Thomas gave his weekly report to the Commissioners. Everything is going good, the new deputies are fitting right in and finding their place. A personnel issue was discussed.

Road Department Secretary Kenner gave her weekly report to the Commissioners. They are investigating an encroachment violation on Ambush Road that Commissioner Borner mentioned. Ms. Kenner is waiting for an answer from Rural Addressing to see if they put in an application for an address but will send another permit application to them. Commissioner Goffena signed the SMES (Small Miner Exclusion Statement) renewal for the County East Gravel Site. There was a culvert installed on Colony Road. They have had calls and concerns about rough roads. If there is no moisture this weekend they will do a PSA (public service announcement) as a reminder that roads can not be worked on until there is rain.

Kathy Pfister met with the Commissioners to set the Countywide School Mills and District School Mill Levies. The Resolution will be on the 3:00 business agenda today.

Accounting Supervisor Angel met with the Commissioners. The Commissioners told Ms. Angel that the Sheriffs Department needs a pole building at the impound center for securing vehicles. Mark Qualman for Quest Services Corp. will be doing the specs for the building and will also have someone look at the roof on the Sheriffs Office. Brian Hopkins the Attorney with MACo needs called regarding jail surveillance and dispatch.

Carl Jackson, Whitney Kross from KLJ, Mark Qualman for Quest Service Corp., Amy Angel, Fred Winkler with WCH, Justin Biehl with Cayton Excavating and Sam Hensler with EEC and Company met with the Commissioners to open bids for the EOC (emergency operations center) Stabilization Project.

WHC = $246,547.50 Bid bond attachedCayton Exc. = $200,111.00 Bid bond attached ( did not comply with specifications)

EEC & Comp. = $336,331.05 Bid bond attachedEHC LLC = $257,264.00 Bid bond attached

Winkler Exc. + $ 257120.00 Bid bond attached

Commissioner Borner made the motion to take the bids under advisement. Commissioner Berry seconded the motion. Motion carried. The bid award will be on the 3:00 business agenda for approval.

DES Coordinator Carlson gave his weekly report to the Commissioners. There were no fires this past week. There is a monitoring visit from the State DES Office today for the EMPG (emergency management performance grant). They will be forming a Hiring Committee for a Deputy DES Coordinator.

Brian Johnson with Collaborative Design and Mark Qualman with Quest Services Corp. met with the Commissioners regarding the Senior Services Center. Building inspectors were in last week. The breezeway connecting the Historical Building and center will need a 3 hour wall and there will need to be a Electrical Disconnect Panel. A discussion will need to happen on who will be responsible for the cost. Mr. Johnson will do some research on where the search scope started and ended with the plumbing lines. Mr. Johnson said that they are still on tract for the 1st week of October for the bids to be ready.

No Public Comment.

James Hatter was present.

Commissioner Borner made the motion to sign Resolution 2017-18 setting Countywide School Mills and District School Levies. Commissioner Berry seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Commissioner Berry made the motion to discuss going out for RFP ( request for proposals) for Airport Engineering. Commissioner Berry second the motion. Discussion: Commissioner Berry said that he does not want to use KLJ for Airport Engineering and would like to cut all ties with KLJ after the EOC Building Stabilization is completed. Motion carried.

Commissioner Berry made the motion to approve the Recommendation of Award to WHC for the EOC Building Stabilization Project. Commissioner Borner second the motion. Motion carried.

Commissioner Berry made the motion to sign the Grant Award Contract from the Montana Board of Crime Control for the Musselshell/Golden Valley Victim/Witness Assist Programs in the amount of $105,948.00. Commissioner Borner second the motion. Motion carried. (This was put on the agenda without notice due to a time restraint.)

There being no further business the motion was made to adjourn. Motion carried.



Commissioners Set 2017-2018 School Mill Levies

By Kathryn Pfister

Musselshell County Commissioners set School Mill Levies for State School Funds, County Wide School Funds and Local School District Funds on Monday September 11th.

State School Levies:

The standard Equalization Levies for 33 Elementary Mills, 22 High School Mills, 40 State Mills, also known as the State Wide School Equalization Levy or 95 Mills, and 6 University System Mills were set County Wide.

These 101 State mills reap the full taxable benefit because they are not affected by the 50% property tax break abatement that Signal Peak and Global Rail enjoy with Musselshell County mills. The state will receive $100,127.36 more in revenue from Musselshell County due to the increase in taxable value.

Musselshell County’s taxable value gained by 991,358 from last year increasing mill income by $991.36 per mill. This increase is due to the two year re-evaluation of property cycle and new construction listed as located in Musselshell County.

County Wide School Levies:

Transportation 3.30 Mills, Down .83 Mills; High School Retirement 16.15 Mills, Up 3.96 Mills; Elementary Retirement 26.80 Mills, Up 5.13 Mills, for a total of 45.91 County Wide Mills. Along with an increased taxable, cash re-appropriated, and reduced district need is giving the taxpayer almost a mill in tax reduction in Transportation. However, increased millage in the retirements is directly due to less cash available for re-appropriation and increased need by the districts. Cash balances for re-appropriations are down by a combined $115,282.11 in the retirement funds. Cash balances remain down because Oil and Gas Tax revenues remain stagnate, Coal Proceeds are 61 percent less and the bulk of Personal Property Tax collection came in July instead of June.

The 0.1 percent supplemental increase to the districts for the next 7 years to make TRS\PERS solvent remains in effect pushing the district needs. However, the State of Montana is also making a supplemental contribution of 25 million annually from the general fund to help. Time line projections to make TRS actuarially sound will take until 2024. That brings us to the total dollars needed from the County Wide 2017-2018 levies of $581,429.49. So when we look at all the factors, we have an increase of $137,965.01 in budgeted need for the County Wide funds with an increase of 8.26 mills in 2017 County Wide Tax requirements.

District Levied Mills:

9 Musselshell- Mills for the residents of the Musselshell area come from Melstone 64J Elementary and Roundup 55H High School. The Elementary District will be down .41 mills, the High School District will be up 1.46 mills for an overall increase of 1.05 mills. (See 64J and 55H for explanation.)

21J Broadview Elementary- General Fund 44.56 Mills; Transportation Fund 3.59 Mills; Bus Depreciation Fund 3.98; Building Reserve Fund 2.44 Mills for a total of 54.57 Mills. Up 1.71 Mills from last year. Taxable Value is down for the 3rd year in a row with this year being of minimal change of $.62 per mill from last year. The 54.57 total mills will generate $77,568.82 dollars from Musselshell County. This is $2,241.23 more than last year. There is 1 ANB enrollment from Musselshell County for budget purposes to this joint district.

21JH Broadview High School- General Fund 38.49 Mills; Transportation 3.00 Mills; Bus Depreciation 3.33 Mills; Building Reserve 2.37 Mills for a total of 47.19 Mills. Up 2.63 Mills. The High School District experienced the same taxable loss as the Elementary. The 47.19 total mills will generate $62,754.67 dollars from Musselshell County for an increase of $3,469.82. Enrollment from Musselshell County for budget purposes with this joint district is 3. After two years of reduced millage and tax dollars collected, the increase is noted, but not huge.

55 Roundup Elementary- General Fund 72.83 Mills; Transportation Fund 19.62; Bus Depreciation 2.27 Mills; Adult Ed 1.19 Mills; Building Reserve 5.82 Mills for a total of 101.73 Mills. Up 9.04 Mills from last year; plus the Debt Service/Bond Mills of 53.13, down 12.69 mills, which was last year’s increase to resolve revenue short fall from the previous year. Regular education and bond mills are 154.86 mills with an overall decrease in mills of 3.65. Some Building Reserve mills have been reinstated with the passage of SB 307. Read further in the article for an explanation of this. Taxable Value is up by 973,517 or $973.51 more per mill. This district was heavily impacted by the reduction in Coal Proceeds as well as a second year personal property collection in July instead of June. This reduced cash to re-appropriate to reduce mills significantly in the general fund. The bond mills have become solvent and gave the taxpayer the break to allow for the added mills, plus mill reduction. The 154.86 mills will generate $1,584,934.80, with $543,766.15 going towards the bond. This is $116,956.25 more than last year. Next year the personal property tax collection should resolve some of the cash re-appropriated issue. Enrollment for budget purposes remains steady at 438, down six from last year.

55H Roundup High School- General Fund 38.78 Mills; Transportation 15.33 Mills; Bus Depreciation 2.16 Mills; Adult Ed 1.10 Mills; Building Reserve 3.22; for a total of 60.59 Mills. Up 4.67 Mills; plus the Debt Service/Bond Mills of 17.08, down 3.21 for a combined total of 77.67 and a combined increase of 1.46 mills. Taxable Value increased 981,244 for $981.24 more per mill. The 77.67 mills will generate $837,391.33 with $184,146.31 going towards the bond. $90,521.90 more in tax dollars will be generated than last year. The same revenue issues for Roundup 55 Elementary have impacted the High School. SB 307 has also allowed the high school district to reinstate some Building Reserve Mills. The bond funding is solvent for the high school as well and gives the taxpayer a break for the added regular education and building reseve mills. Enrollment for funding purposes is 190, down 7 from last year.

64J Melstone Elementary- General fund 32.13; Transportation 21.08; Technology 5.71; Building Reserve Fund 10.00, for a total of 68.92 Mills. Down .41 Mills. Taxable Value increased by 18,461 or $18.46 a mill. Melstone’s Elementary mills will generate $75,817.51 tax dollars from Musselshell County. This is $828.80 more than last year, reflecting the stagnation in Oil and Gas Revenues and the July personal Property collection date. Melstone Elementary opted into the SB307 Building Reserve Mills for needed District Maintenance. Enrollment from Musselshell County for budgeting is 54, down 3 from last year. Melstone is a Joint School District with Rosebud County and these figures do not reflect Rosebud County’s funding portion.

64JH Melstone High School- General Fund 30.46; Transportation Fund 49.19; Technology Fund 13.95; Building Reserve Fund 10.00 Mills, for a total of 103.60 Mills. Down for the by 31.38 Mills. This is the 4th year in a row that Melstone High School has reduced mills to work with taxpayer liability because of increased need in the elementary. Melstone High School is the smallest district in Musselshell County and its taxable also remains the lowest in Musselshell County with a mill only generating $553.31. This taxable did grow in value per mill by 10,734 for a dollar value per mill of $10.73. Total mills only generates $57,322.91 from Musselshell County, down $10,488.74 from last year. Melstone High School also opted into the Building Reserve Levy for district maintenance through SB 307. The District continues to be diligent in attempting to keep the budget and millage as stable as possible by limiting where mills are levied. An example of this is that Bus Depreciation Mills have been vacated for two years to maintain mills in other funds. Melstone High School is the only district down in both mills and tax dollars needed. Enrollment from Musselshell County for budgeting is 24, up by 3 from last year for budget purposes.

SB307 allows a district to permissively mill up to $15,000.00 plus $100.00 X the ANB from the District’s ANB for the prior fiscal year for major maintenance. This bill removed the Quality Schools Grants funding, which were limited, competitive and previously available through the state for such projects. SB 307 opens the door for all districts to do maintenance at some level.

Due to the revenue short fall at the State Level, SB 261 reductions have been implemented. Districts will not receive the Data for Achievement Payment or the Natural Resources Development K-12 Facilities Payment that is tied to SB 307. The At-Risk Payment will be reduced by 0.5%. The Special Education Allowable Cost Payment will be reduced by .5%. In addition, Combined School Block Grants will be reduced by 47.68 percent. Most districts have put these funds in their flex fund for needed short falls and can weather this short fall easier. Roundup 55 & 55H, like many other districts, has chosen to put them in their general fund to offset millage. The District has chosen to absorb the loss, monitor what the reduction does and use projected Coal Proceeds to make up the loss. Budget limits will not change, but funding will be reduced. Districts will be functioning on less state support as the continued revenue short falls are addressed by the Governor in 17-4-140 Montana Code Annotated. Consequently, other cuts may well materialize as the State moves towards a potential 10 % reduction by all state agencies that will affect more than the school district general fund. This is in addition to the 5% cuts that were implemented during the legislative session to the state departments.

Trustees and Administration continue to work to stabilize levies/revenue, keeping taxpayer liability in mind during the budget process. Millage increases for all School Districts are minimal falling well under 4 mills. All Districts saw taxable value growth due to the two year evaluation process and new construction. Consequently, all but Melstone High Scholl saw tax dollar increases due to that growth. Some not very much, but still an increase. Natural Resource revenues are down for all districts that receive them. Lack of these dollars puts us into a majority taxpayer supported mill.

Consequently, Education Mills are up and down: depending on the entity and its circumstances of budgetary need, cash to re-appropriate, revenue collections and gain or loss in taxable value. Maintenance and operation of Musselshell County Schools is dependent upon the local taxpayer. That liability is kept in mind when funding. School trustees and school officials appreciate the generous support in the growth and development of their students by the Musselshell County Taxpayers.

Taxpayers can project the levy amount they will be paying to the State 101 mills, County Wide 45.91 Mills and the School District of Residence mill total for Elementary and High School by multiplying their taxable value (which came in their assessment notice from the Department of Revenue this summer) times the mills and then multiplying that number by .001 to get a dollar value. This does not include any city or county mills.

Last modified: December 13, 2017

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