“We don’t have any reserves right now,” stated Glacier County Commission Chairman Michael DesRosier at the Feb. 4 meeting of the Glacier County Commissioners. “We’re right at the edge.” DesRosier said with the current budget and financial issues the County should make it to “the end of April or the end of May.”
With no specific agenda items on the Feb. 4 meeting agenda, DesRosier fielded questions from members of the public regarding Glacier County’s financial status.
DesRosier said Human Resources Director Mike Kittson is “working on a plan for cuts if needed, but we will to talk to employees first.”
DesRosier told members of the public that Glacier County Chief Financial Officer Chancy Kittson “believes we’ll have some (reserves) in the next budget.”
DesRosier continued, “In two years, things should be doing really good. According to Chancy’s plan, within two years we should be back up and running.”
A copy of the plan, however, was not available at the meeting.
DesRosier was asked if Glacier County is up-to-date with payments and reports to all State agencies, including the Office of Public Instruction and the Department of Revenue.
“As far as I know, Glacier County is up-to-date. All the payments have been made,” he said, adding all the requested reports have also been submitted.
DesRosier said he was going to meet with Department of Administration officials on Feb. 7 and ask, “why can’t we get rid of the PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) Fund and put that money in the General Fund.”
Glacier County receives an annual PILT payment from the federal government each June. Last year’s payment was $1.08 million. The PILT program provides counties with full compensation for taxes that could not be levied on federal lands in their jurisdictions.
The Commissioners recently approved budget resolutions for FY 2019 that resulted in the County’s PILT Fund having a negative balance of more than $5 million.
DesRosier said at the opening of the Feb. 4 meeting, the Commissioners were going to “just get together and approve the minutes, catch up on any items and wander around and talk to Don, Chancy, Mike and Terryl if we need to.”
DesRosier was referring to Glacier County Treasurer Don Wilson, CFO Chancy Kittson, Human Resources Director Mike Kittson and Glacier County Attorney Terryl Matt.
DesRosier explained county officials have been “debating” what to put on their agendas–administrative issues, community issues or work session–for those meetings when they have no specific items to discuss or approve. “We’ve been debating what to call it” when they have a meeting scheduled and don’t want to cancel it, DesRosier told members of the public.
During the public comment portion of the meeting DesRosier also answered questions regarding the recent water damage at the courthouse. He stated county officials were still waiting on estimates from the contractor but said there was “lots of damage” and “over $40,000” in damaged electronics. Clerk and Recorder Mandi Kennerly said a special printer used for the elections will cost over $10,000 to replace.