First Public Budget Hearing: September 06, 2023

First Public Budget Hearing: September 06, 2023

First Public Budget Hearing FY 23-24
September 6, 2023
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Paul Westcott
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
William Cooney (via zoom) Michael Kint

ABSENT: Kerry Bartlett

STAFF: Frank Isele Jennifer Frederick
Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

ATTENDEES: Pat Knipper Julie Brady

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman IRCHD

Mrs. Cunningham convened the first public budget hearing of the Indian River County Hospital District (“IRCHD”) at 5:01 p.m. She began by introducing Frank Isele, who began his tenure as the executive director of the District. Mr. Isele thanked the Trustees for welcoming him and stated that he looks forward to working with everyone and supporting the community. Ms. Cunningham then led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Ms. Cunningham stated that the purpose of today’s meeting will be to adopt a tentative millage rate and tentative FY 23-24 budget. The final budget hearing will take place on September 21st at 5:01 PM.

Review of the July 20, 2023, Proposed FY 2023-2024 Budget Information – Michael Kint, Treasurer

Mr. Kint addressed the board and stated that on July 20, the District Trustees adopted a proposed budget for FY 23-24, which included a proposed millage rate increase of 10.73% when calculated as a percentage of the rolled back rate. At the same meeting, the Trustees chose not to increase this current year’s ad valorem tax rate of .5110 mills. He explained that this proposed tax rate will provide an ad valorem tax revenue of $13,572,748. This is an increase in ad valorem tax revenue of $1,618,601 from the current fiscal year. He further explained that due to changes in the funding levels of four programs which were approved at a District meeting on August 16th, there is a very slight deviation in the proposed budget presented tonight. These changes did not alter the millage rate increase over the rolled back rate, the ad valorem tax rate or the tax revenue approved at that July 20th meeting.
Next, he discussed some of the specific purposes and reasons for which ad valorem tax revenues are being increased. He clarified that the ad valorem tax rate is not being increased and that the increase in tax revenue is due to the assessed property tax values in Indian River County which increased over 12% this year. Additionally, the District is carrying forward approximately $9 million in cash and the reserves and investments are increasing by $1.2 million. There is also an increase of $3,290,533 in program expenses, and an increase in administrative expenses of $69,500. He further explained that inflation has had an impact on all of the organizations, the District funds and on the administration of the District, which has caused an increase in overall operating costs. Additionally, the District is adding 6 new organizations with 9 new programs to this year’s proposed budget and in responding to the increased need for services the District is utilizing cash brought forward and the increase in property tax values, to hold its ad valorem millage rate level to this year.

Mr. Kint asked for public comment and community member Julie Brady addressed the Trustees. She stated that she moved to Vero Beach two years ago but has lived in Florida for 20 years. Her adult son has special needs, and she discussed her frustration with not being able to secure a primary care doctor for him. She also explained that all of his specialty care is provided out of county, as she is unable to find providers locally. She questioned this and stated that as a taxpayer providing funds which are given to Cleveland Clinic, there should be better options for primary and specialty care needs. Mrs. Cunningham thanked her for her comment and stated that Mr. Isele would follow up with her directly to gather additional information to assist her further.

Mr. Kint asked if there was any Trustee comment. Mr. Westcott stated that he appreciates the cushion of funds secured in the reserve account and that should the District not move forward with the sale of the Hospice House parcel, there are still adequate funds to support any unforeseen variables. Mr. Kint agreed and stated that there are a few items with regard to District owned properties that will need to be addressed and will incur expenses that are yet to be determined. Additionally, Mr. Westcott stated that he is hopeful over the next year, the Trustees will look deeper into the budget and identify those areas where there could be overlap funding and developing some strategic plans concerning future funding. Mr. Kint informed the board that next week he will be participating in the Children Services Advisory Committee Needs Assessment meeting and one of the agenda items for discussion is to review the funding lanes which may lead to identifying any duplicative areas of funding.

There was no further public comment or Trustee discussion. Therefore, Mr. Kint asked for a motion to adopt the tentative millage rate of .5110, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. There was no public comment or Trustee discussion and the motion carried unanimously. Next, Mr. Kint asked for a motion to adopt the overall tentative ad valorem budget of $13,572,748, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Bodnar. There was no public comment or Trustee discussion and the motion carried unanimously. Lastly, Mr. Kint announced publicly that the millage rate as a percentage of the rolled back rate is 10.73%.

Ms. Cunningham stated that the District next Chairman meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 20th at 10:00 AM. The Final budget hearing will take place on Thursday September 21st at 5:01 PM, with the regular monthly meeting being held immediately after the budget hearing.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 PM.