County holds line on 2012 taxes

BROOKVILLE — Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioners adopted the county's final operating budget for 2012, which calls for no tax increase.

It was amended only slightly from the proposed budget, which was advertised three weeks ago.

According to Director of Finance & Human Resources Debby Hackett, she anticipated a deficit of $53,752 at the end of 2012 in the proposed budget; however, some changes were made in both "increased revenues, and some reduction in expenditures," slashing the deficit by about $13,000, she said.

By the end of 2012, the county's general fund deficit will be $40,467.
Hackett anticipates projected savings in many areas, including adult probation.

The county's total revenue for the 2012 general fund is $11,547,591. Although the county will have a deficit at the end of 2012, that money will be taken from the county's fund balance of $1,975,018.
"People want a more clear picture of the numbers that are being presented,"

County Commission Chairman Paul Corbin said. "We are in a positive position."

Corbin commended his fellow commissioners, the county's employees and those who sit on row offices for all of their hard work, ensuring a balanced budget over recent years.

But although the budget is balanced, the county is still proceeding with caution.

"We do have a fund balance now that we can utilize those funds, but we certainly do not want to balance the budget every year using fund balance," Hackett said. "We want to be able to maintain a fund balance so we have some cash reserves going forward."

Also Tuesday, the commissioners:
• Approved a minor budget revision in the Jefferson County Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP).

• Adopted Resolution No. 2011-07 providing the Area Transportation Authority local funds in the amount of $59,592 to match state funds for fiscal year 2012-2013.

• Adopted Resolution No. 2011-08, establishing a procedure by which it shall annually determine the form and required amount of required security, relevant to Elected Officials bonds.

• Adopted Resolution No. 2011-09, listing the depositories and authorized facsimiles for all Jefferson County funds commencing Jan. 3, 2012.

• Entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Prison Inmate Medical Cost Containment Program (PIMCC) to serve as an intermediary between the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to collect and remit the county's share of inmate medical costs that result from inmate hospitalizations.

• Appointed Mike Bailey of Brockway, and Wayne Jackson or Brookville, to the Jefferson County Fair Authority for a five-year term. Both terms will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

• Reappointed Jim Berry of Brookville, and Mary Ann Kernich of Punxsutawney to the Children & Youth Advisory Board for a three-year term. Both terms will expire Nov. 30, 2014.

• Reappointed Gene Mineweaser of Brookville to the Clearfield-Jefferson counties Regional Airport Authority for a five-year term. His term will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

• Entered into a posting and personal service agreement with Constable Marsha Johnstone of Brookville for posting and personal service to resident owners for upset tax claim sales and/or private sales. She will be reimbursed $10 per parcel posting.

• Entered into an abstracting agreement with Cyndi Smathers for distribution purposed, upset tax claim sales and judicial and/or private sales. Term of said contract began Dec. 1 and will end Nov. 30, 2012. The county will pay $15 an hour or a maximum of $75 per abstract title upon completion.

In salary business, the commissioners:
• Entered into a legal services contract with Scott Allen and Mark Wallisch to discharge the duties of Assistant Public Defender in and for Jefferson County for 2012. Allen will be compensated at a yearly rate of $24,000 and Wallisch will be compensated at a yearly rate of $25,000.

In other business:
• Approved invoices in the amount of $2,066,948.70 for the period Nov. 24 through Dec. 13 inclusive.

• Approved pending invoices in the amount of $155,872.43.

• Approved the actual gross payroll in the amount of $207,359.01 for payment for the period Nov. 20 through Dec. 3 inclusive.

• Approved the tentative gross payroll in the amount of $198,000 for payment for the period Dec. 4 through Dec. 17 inclusive.

• The next county commission meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29. A salary board meeting will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29.

• The commissioners reorganization meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 3, 2012. The salary board reorganization meeting will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 3, 2012.