10/1 Budget Hearing: Finance & Administration

2010 City Civil Budget

Notes from the Fort Wayne City Council Budget Hearing on October 1, 2009.

This post covers notes from the Finance & Administration budget discussion. This budget may be downloaded here.

Council President Tom Smith announced at the start of the session that Indiana Michigan Power may or may not be here on October 6, 2009.  This is due to the pending mediation sessions.

Deputy Controller Valerie Ahr is at the Council table for this budget, which is the third to be discussed so far this evening.

Human Resources is now included in this budget.  They had been in either budget several times.

Councilwoman Karen Goldner is asking about health insurance going  up 10%.  Asking about how much employees pay and the City pays.  Wait until next Tuesday

Councilman Mitch Harper is asking about the increase in consulting fees.  ATOS is most of the increase.

Councilwoman Liz Brown is asking about training services which is outside trainers brought in.  The difference between the listed 2009 approved by council and what is listed in the 2010 for comparison is due to the HR Department relocation.  Postage is charged back to other departments.

5363 – mainly property management for repairs on roofs

5364 – property management repairs, pest control, snow removal, keys, locks anything tha needs to be repaired on site.

536N & P – property management

Building Rent – $936,096 – at time we did the budgets, didn’t have information, only budgeted for six months in this building, then used 6 months of what the County said they would charge us for rent.

5269 – contract for employee assistance program, vendor that does background check on current and new employees – valid  driver license?  Most is from IT.  Maintenance on hardware, internet.

Parking violations are to be deposited in general fund, but bagged coins from meters needs to go to parking administration.  This is per ordinance.

Tom Didier – asking about the insurance co-pays.  Computer Rent, 5373, payment to County for GIS agreement and equipment downstairs.  Biggest computer is the one that does the billing for city utilities.

Liz – Master Lease.  For the IT department, 2006 for a three year computer lease which has dropped off.  One more year on the MUNIS system – it was a five year lease.

Adding $148,000 in new employees.  Budget is coming in at about 3% less than 2009.

Tim Pape – Big dollars are spent on employees and equipment.  The place in City Government to account and make sure we’re getting all the money and it’s spent according to directions from the City Council.  Pape is asking how they’re doing.  Valerie – great!  Working on integrating HR and payroll.

Controller Pat Roller is being asked how performance is gaged.  Pat – monitor monthly expenses, communication with department heads, managed to come in under budget.  Utilized technology and that’s what is keeping the head count low.

Integrated software serves better by keeping head count low.  80% of budget is head count, if we can keep that low, citizens pay lower property taxes.

Pape – any assessments done with other similar organizations?  Working on it with controllers in the rest of the state to put benchmarks to allow the comparisons.

Liz – rainy day fund is from excess COIT and CEDIT funds.  The balance is currently around $22 million.  Would allow us to get past the circuit breaker.  Projections show flat in 2010 and down to $15 million by 2012.

Is there a minimum for ratings?  7 and 10% of revenues brought in is the benchmark.

How well the different software packages have been integrated.  Jim Haley is giving an overview of the IT department.

New project management system for City Utilities for the CSO work.  That expenditure will come to the Council.  Probably from CEDIT dollars.

Ascela is joint venture with Allen County.  Vendor has been in and out of town quite a lot.  This is for Code Enforcement.

Karen Goldner is talking about demolitions that have been delayed because the software crashed.  This in turn has caused some bankruptcies.  The software wouldn’t work for 45 days.  Off the shelf software – totally unacceptable.  Don’t  want to see any more money to Acela.  Allen County doesn’t either, per Jim.  Karen – it’s been a disaster.

GIS – system for police.  Main problem was with mapping software.  Allen County offered to do it, but underestimated the amount of work needed.  They have contracted with another company to do it, hopefully by end of November.  Expense paid out of 9-1-1 funding.

9-1-1 TRAA bridge – thinks the three vendors are working together.  A program is up and testing and training.  There were three systems that had to talk together.  Meant convincing each vendor to work and talk with the others.

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