Meeting Minutes December 2014

December  17, 2014

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Trudell called the meeting to order at 18:01 PM in the Board Room of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department Administration Building.

I.        ROLL CALL

Board Members Present:

Paradise Township, Grant Township, Green Lake Township, Long Lake Township, Springfield Township, Union Township Whitewater Township, Chief/CEO, Accountant.

Public:  One (1) guest

II.          APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Chairman Trudell requested a motion to approve the agenda of the November 19, 2014 meeting. Whitewater moved to approve the November 19, 2014 agenda. Fife Lake seconded the motion. All Ayes. Motion carried

III.        APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Long Lake made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2014 meeting. Springfield seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

VI.         BUDGET HEARING FY 2015

Chairman Trudell requested a motion to open the meeting to the public. Fife Lake moved to open the meeting to the public. Green Lake seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried at 6:04pm.

Chairman Trudell opened the floor to the public – no comments made by the public. Chairman Trudell requested a motion to close the public hearing. Green Lake moved to close the public hearing. Paradise seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

Discussion ensued on the 2015 FY Budget hearing. There were some areas of concern, regarding the Revenue Account of 5% assessment for Grant, Springfield and Union in lieu of no fire stations. Questioning if our Board can legally conduct an” assessment”, after discussing the assessment, an agreement was made to remove the 5% assessment revenue figures from the Budget. The Budget was amended.

Also discussed was the Asst. Chief position, the budget reflected a reduction in salary by 50%. The Board will re-evaluate in March or April to see if there will be enough funding to support the salary. If the position can be fully funded, then it will possibly be filled in July.

Chairman Trudell asked the question for a motion to amend and approve the 2015 FY Budget. Long Lake moved to approve. Union seconded the motion.

Roll call vote conducted AYE:  Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union. NAY: Whitewater. Motion carried.

V.            FINANCIAL REPORT

Discussion took place regarding the budget amendments (See Submitted Financial Report).

Chairman Trudell requested a motion to approve the Public Improvement Fund. Long Lake moved to approve Public Improvement Fund. Springfield seconded the motion.

Roll call vote conducted: AYE: Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union. NAY: Whitewater. Motion carried.

Chairman Trudell requested a motion to approve the Grant Fund. Long Lake moved to approve. Grant seconded the motion.

Roll call vote conducted: AYE: Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union. NAY: Whitewater. Motion carried.

Chairman Trudell requested a motion to approve the Financial Report. Springfield moved to approve the Financial Report. Union seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

Springfield made a motion to approve the Budget Amendment. Fife Lake seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

VI.     APPROVAL OF EXPENDITURES (CLAIMS)

Long Lake made a motion to approve Pre-authorized Claims. Fife Lake seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried

Green Lake made a motion to approve open invoices. Long Lake seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

Green Lake made a motion to approve payroll For November. Fife Lake seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. AYE: 7 NAY: 1. Motion carried.

VII.    CORRESPONDENCE

No Correspondence to Report. 

VIII. REPORTS

Chief s Report

See Chief’s report

IX.     UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Grand Traverse Band
Currently In holiday pause.
B.  Public Act 57
Still in developmental process.
C.  Fire Prevention Code
Fife Lake was questioned if they will be adopting the Fire prevention ordinance. Fife Lake advises that they will discuss this topic in the January meeting.

X.      NEW BUSINESS

A. Underwriters Insurance

Paul Olson was excused, but has rescheduled for January 2015 meeting. Short discussion took place regarding the 3% increase and a possible rebate. A motion to approve was made due to the invoice was due prior to the next Board meeting date (January 151 .

Springfield made a motion to approve the payment of the insurance plan. Union seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. Roll call vote conducted AYE: Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union, Whitewater.

NAY: None. Motion carried.

B.  Cost Recovery

The Chief reported back in April 2005, the Board passed a cost recovery ordinance allowing this organization to bill insurance companies and non-residences for service rendered. In working with the cost recovery organization, it was stated that our billing rate was dated, as it the lowest across the country and they recommended an increase be made. It will change the billing structure slightly; allowing us to bill hourly if need be and gives us the flexibility to itemize the response. The Chief respectfully recommends the adoption of the new billing plan (see Exhibit A).
The Chief advises that since April 1st we have been using Cost Recovery USA, is the largest cost recovery organization for fee recovery in the United States. They are currently at a 90% recovery rate for us. They are doing a tremendous job. Another advantage is Cost Recovery USA is integrated with our current Firehouse software allowing them to view the calls directly from our data and bill accordingly; making missed calls obsolete. A question was raised, regarding the percentage cost of Cost Recovery USA. It was stated that their commission rate is 20%. We do not pay the percentage upfront and they do not charge us unless we get reimbursed. We receive payment from Cost Recovery USA not the insurance companies. Insurance companies are familiar with this process. It was also mentioned that the road commission bills for destruction of property (i.e. guard rails) and the same ordinance adoption announcement was placed in the newspaper for Inland Township.

Union made a motion to address the Cost Recovery increase rate to the Township Boards for approval. Whitewater seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. Roll call vote conducted AYE: Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union, Whitewater. NAY: None Motion carried.

C.  Fund Balance Policy

The Chief discussed that our Fund Policy needed to be defined. An inquiry was made on a standard or recommendation and it varies (i.e., Traverse City is carrying a 22% fund balance and an article in the paper reflected that the schools are approaching 40-45%). A 25% fund balance would be three months of operating cost and a 30% fund balance would be four months operating cost. It is the Chief s recommendation to be at a 30% fund balance which will allow us to work the budget a little easier (See spreadsheet projected fund balance attachment). Chairman inquired if this was a good place to be, and if anyone had thoughts. There was one uncertainty. Discussion took place about what ones “Fund Balance” should be

and it should not be called a “Budget Stabilization” fund as the State does not like that name and prefers it to be called a “Capital Improvement” fund. An inquiry was made regarding our Fund Balance low throughout the year. It was mentioned that it fluctuates throughout a year and ideally it is over $300,000. Discussion took place stating that 30% is a goal not a demand. We have new issues this year; we are paying people stipends rather than points. The accountant mentioned that the Chief and he are looking at different ways to approach funding i.e., taxable value, state equalized value, Act 57 to demonstrate what is might be costing the Townships. SEY and taxable value was discussed.

Fife Lake made a motion to use 30% base on yearly expenditures figure as our Fund Balance Policy. Long Lake seconded the motion.

Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. Whitewater questioned opinions of members of the Board wondering if this motion is intended as a mandate rather than a guideline. The Chairman Trudell advises that Whitewater can make a motion to rescind that at the next years Board meeting. Union mentioned that he would feel better if it was motioned as a “guide” rather than a mandate. Fife Lake amended her motion as a “guide” rather than a motion to use 30% base on yearly expenditures figure as our Fund Balance Policy. Long Lake seconded the motion.

Roll call vote conducted AYE: Fife, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Paradise, Springfield, Union, Whitewater. NAY: None. Motion carried.

XI.          PUBLIC INPUT

No public input made.

XII.       FUTURE AGENDA

No changes were made to the annualized schedule.

XIII.    ADJOURMENT

Long Lake moved to adjourn the meeting. Paradise seconded the motion. Chairman Trudell asked for any further discussion. All Ayes. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 07:33pm.