The Department of Administration (DOA) is taking action against Glacier County for not submitting reconciled bank statements dating back to July 2018. “Given the importance of knowing how much cash the County has and the long-term inability to reconcile cash, the Department must withhold financial assistance…” wrote Mike Manion, Chief Legal Counsel for DOA in a letter addressed to the County Commissioners on Oct. 25.
Despite contracting with several consultants, Glacier County officials have been unable to reconcile its bank statements dating from July 2018 to present. At the Commissioners’ Oct. 31 meeting, Commission Chairman Michael DesRosier removed the June, July, August and September 2019 cash reports from the agenda, stating they were “not reconciled” but Treasurer Don Wilson was working on them.
What type of “financial assistance” will be withheld from Glacier County? The DOA is interpreting the statute to mean “payments for local assistance or grants.”
In FY 2019, Glacier County received over $654,000 in local assistance or grant payments, not counting quarterly 911 distributions, which ranged from $27,000 to $33,000 per quarter.
The Glacier County Health Department stands to lose nearly $150,000 in grants and payment assistance from the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPPHS) due to the County’s inability to provide the Department of Administration with reconciled bank statements for the last 15 months of operation. According to Carol McDivitt, RN, head of the Glacier County Health Department, DPHHS officials notified her last week all of the County Health Departments grant funding is on hold until “financial issues are corrected by the County.”
The County Health Department administers several grants, some of which include Maternal and Child Health, Emergency Preparedness and the Immunization Program.
Glacier County Health Department receives over $122,000 in grant and program assistance from DPHHS for services provided.
A discussion and update on the Glacier County Health Department’s budget is on the Commissioners’ Nov. 14 meeting agenda. No time is listed for the discussion, but it is the first agenda item following payroll and claims, which is from 9-10 a.m.
Several other county departments, including the portion of the Glacier County Attorney’s salary that is paid by the Department of Justice, may soon be affected by the withholding of payments and grants.
The amounts listed below are from FY 2019. State officials anticipate the FY 2020 payments/grants would be similar:
•County Attorney Payroll–$72,294.
•Homeland Security Operation Stonegarden–$64,777. The Commissioners approved the purchase of two snowmobiles for approximately $28,000, using the Stonegarden Grant, at their Nov. 5 meeting. The funds from the 2018 grant will be used for that purchase according to the Glacier County Sheriff’s Office.
•Emergency Management Performance Grant–$57,777.
•Department of Transportation grants and fuel tax distributions–$183,790.
•Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant–$9,850
•Montana State Library–$2,141.
•911 Distribution–Quarterly payments ranged between $27,000 and $33,000.
•Noxious Weed Administration–$9,286.
•Federal Forest Reserve–$36,035