The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners had a relatively light meeting schedule this August.
Following are highlights from the board’s Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 meetings.
Aug. 10 meeting
The Charlevoix County Audit Committee reviewed the July invoices and recommended the county board approve $1,419,375.88 in expenditures.
A motion to approve the expenditures was unanimously approved.
Child Care Budget
An amendment to the 2015-2016 Charlevoix County Child Care Budget was received.
While no additional funds were requested, there was a request to transfer funds between line items.
The motion was unanimously approved.
Several measures have been taken to increase security in the county.
“We are being very proactive on the security of our county building,” said Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners Chairman Joel Evans (R-District 4).
“As we read the news, I guess we can’t ever seem to get enough security sometimes.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to have $2,500 worth of window tint installed over the lower portion of the county building’s windows.
Also, the county will be locking down the State Street entrance and outfitting it, along with the Antrim Street entrance by the treasurer’s office, with an employee door lock.
The county board also approved spending approximately $2,500 for more secure doors at the county treasurer’s office.
The treasurer will pay half the cost of the doors from her forfeiture fund.
The treasurer’s office will also be getting bulletproof glass at some point, to be paid for by the forfeiture fund as well.
The county board also approved approximately $17,000 to purchase more security cameras.
Aug. 24 meeting
Health Dept. Report
Linda Yaroch, Health Officer with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, and Director of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer Mary Briscoe presented the department’s yearly report to the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners.
According to Yaroch, the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance’s successes have continued.
Over this past year, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan won the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director’s Award.
“The work that we’ve been trying to do has really aligned with the state innovation model and we put out our capacity assessment to become the Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region and lead that initiative and we were selected to do that,” said Yaroch.
The focus will be on payment reform initiatives, reducing costs and reducing unnecessary use of emergency rooms, looking at chronic disease, and improving health of mothers and babies.
A Community health assessment was repeated to determine local priorities. Those identified were access to care, chronic disease prevention, and tobacco/drug use.
On the budget side, Briscoe said revenues in 2015 were $25,000,000 total with dental revenues being $12,900,000, which is about 52 percent of overall revenues. Family health’s revenues were approximately $5.9 million. Community health was about $2.2 million. Environmental and home health were each nearly $1.9 million.
“The largest funding source of the health department is our fees and collections,” said Briscoe… “And, that’s about $14,671,000 or 58 percent of the revenue budget.”
The federal, state and local funds make up nearly 37 percent of the budget or $9 million.
Local contributions equal $962,000, with Charlevoix County’s share being $243,000.
Evans said he was surprised the dental clinics accounted for so much of the funding. He asked if it had always been that way. Yaroch said those figures have remained fairly constant over the years.
Charlevoix County Commissioner Chris Christensen (R-District 2) broached the matter of sanitary codes.
“Sitting on the board of appeals … we’re frequently reminded … that we’re waiting on Emmet County to come to terms with some agreement before we’re going to put the other program in place, but the issue that I have with that is it’s stymieing building in Charlevoix County because it’s the worst kept secret in Northern Michigan that some of the rules that are being imposed in Charlevoix County are going to be rolled back.”
He added, “So, it’s known to some people that a particular area may not qualify under the current rules but, when the new rules take effect, that area will have the opportunity or then will qualify for a different type of septic system.”
Christensen asked if there was any reason Charlevoix County can’t just move forward now.
Yaroch said the goal is to have one sanitary code eventually.
“There’s not really that much difference in the different codes,” she said.
Christensen countered by saying that, when you get to the sanitary board of appeals, there can be quite a difference for certain people and certain properties.
Yaroch said unifying the code is going to be a process.
No board action was necessary.
P.A. 416 Grant
A grant application for the 2016-2017 year for secondary road patrol and traffic accident prevention program, P.A. 416, has been received. The grant is a renewal of a grant program already in place.
A motion to apply for the grant was unanimously approved.
Charlevoix County has been selected to receive a financial award from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for a one-time payment of up to $1,500.
Motion was unanimously approved to participate in the Regional Veteran Community Action Team.
The Charlevoix County Internal Government Committee reviewed a resolution opposing the proposed MDOT guardrail replacement for the Melrose Township Park public beach, and the county feels that MDOT’s plan to replace the current metal guardrail with a split rail fence would not be safe.
The county board of commissioners voted unanimously to support Melrose Township
“I don’t believe they have any idea,” said Evans, adding that anyone with common sense could see it won’t be safe to change the type of guardrail.
Next County Meeting
The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners next convenes at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday Sept. 14 in the commission meeting room at 203 Antrim St. in Charlevoix.