Finance Committee

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Finance Committee - October 23, 2023 Minutes


Regular Meeting Monday, October 23, 2023

The Regular Meeting of the Finance Committee of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall at 10:00 a.m., Monday, October 23, 2023.

The Finance Committee Members present or absent were as follows:

Present: Timothy Mahoney, Dave Piepkorn, Michael Redlinger, Susan Thompson, Steve Sprague, Tanner Smedshammer, and Brenda Derrig.

Others Present: Nancy Morris, Jordan Corneliusen, Desi Fleming, Melissa Perala, Denise Kolpack, Troy Hall, Ron Gronneberg and Jill Pagel.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Piepkorn moved the minutes of the September 25, 2023 Finance Committee meeting be approved as presented. Second by Mr. Sprague. All Members present voted aye, and the motion was declared carried.

Consent Agenda

Departmental Requests Approved:

Three requests were considered.

Mr. Redlinger moved to approve, second by Ms. Thompson and all members present voted in favor.
Regular Agenda Sales Tax Analysis

Mr. Sprague reviewed the last month sales tax collection for Cass County and the City of Fargo and stated that taxes trending down.

2023 Quarterly Budget Adjustments:

Ms. Thompson presented a request for budget adjustments including individual accounts, requested adjustment, and pre-/post-adjustment budget balances based on a prior preparation of Third Quarter 2023 Year-End General Fund projections and meetings with individual department heads.

At a City Commission meeting on October 16, 2023, a summary of YTD Actuals through September and Fourth Quarter Estimates generated by Year-End General Fund projections was presented.

Ms. Thompson noted that moving forward, it is the intent of the Finance staff to request budget adjustments on a quarterly basis at a City Commission meeting in conjunction with ongoing quarterly reviews.

Budget Adjustment request for Harms Reduction Advocate and Team Lead positions Approved:

Ms. Fleming submitted a request for a market adjustment for the Harm Reduction Advocate and Team Lead positions and request that they be retroactive to September 15, 2023 through December 31, 2023. Ms. Fleming stated that through the City of Fargo budget process, a market adjustment was added to the 2024 budget to support increasing advocate and team lead pay. Due to the immediate need of the situation, Fargo Cass Public Health would like to use workforce grant dollars to support this adjustment until the 2024 City Budget increase is implemented.

Fargo Cass Public Health requested the above budget adjustments in the amount of

Ms. Thompson moved to approve, second by Mr. Redlinger. Mr. Piepkorn voted against the budget adjustment.

Budget Adjustment request PT Nursing Position at Cass County Jail Approved:

Ms. Fleming submitted a requested for a part time nursing position located at the Cass County Jail. The position was approved 2 years ago by the Cass County Commission to increase to a full-time position, however the individual had delayed her retirement until October 27, 2023. Before filling the vacated position, Fargo Cass Public Health would like to adjust the position to a regular full-time position.

The current employee is at the top of the pay scale and hiring a new replacement at a lower step, even with the increased hours, will be a budget decrease for the county with only an increase in benefits and COLA.

Ms. Fleming stated that this is a neutral request that will be 100% funded by Cass County.

Fargo Cass Public Health requested the above budget adjustment in the amount of $1719.00 for the 2024 budget, with no impact to the 2023 budget.

Mr. Redlinger moved to approve, second by Ms. Derrig and all members present voted in favor.

Budget Adjustment request City Winter Warming Initiative Approved:

Ms. Fleming submitted budget adjustment requests to support the City Winter Warming Initiative which will be in operation from November 1, 2023 through April 30, 2024. Ms. Fleming stated that the following activities would be supported with grant funds from FCPH:

• Expanded DEC Hours (5pm-8pm) to provide a transitional period to assist placement of guests for $32,509.00
• Winter Warming Coordinator (out of grade pay for a current team lead advocate position) for $10,000.00
• Contribution from FCPH toward staffing for $24,823.84

Total budget adjustment request is for $67,332.84 ($11,222.14/month estimate)

Fargo Cass Public Health is requesting the above budget adjustments in the amounts of $22,444.28 estimated for 2023, and the estimated budget adjustment for 2024 will be $44,888.56.

Mr. Piepkorn expressed he was not in support of the Winter Warming Initiative.

Ms. Derrig moved to approve, Mr. Redlinger made the second. Mr. Piepkorn and Mr. Sprague voted against the budget adjustments.

Grant Request Approved:

Mr. Gronneberg stated that under the Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) framework, the federal government had allocated funds to each state for unfunded cyber initiatives.

A list of the approved 2023 IIJA grant requests for the City of Fargo through the FY22 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program managed by North Dakota Department of Emergency Services was provided to the Committee.

The suggested motion was to move to approve the award from ND Department of Emergency Services for $239,090 under CFDA #97.137 and to make the appropriate budget adjustments to allocate the funds to the Information Services accounts.

Mr. Gronneberg asked the committee to also consider the grant requests for 2024.

For the 2023 grant requests, the cost share would be $239,090 Federal (90%), $11,945 State (4.5%) and $14,611 Local (5.5%).

Mr Sprague moved to approve, Mr. Piepkorn made the second and all members present voted in favor.

Mr. Gronneberg stated that the 2024 request would a total maximum of $104,000, but there would be the possibility that the full amount would not be granted and this amount could be less.

Mr. Sprague asked if once the actual amount is known, could Mr. Gronneberg bring that request to accept back to the Finance Committee for review and his response was, yes he would plan to do that.

Ms. Thompson moved to approve, Mr. Sprague made the second and all members present voted in favor.

Frontload Position in 2023 Approved:

Mr. Gronneberg informed the committee that the Information Services department would be losing a front desk employee on November 9, 2023. This position was currently a part time employee working 4 days a week. Mr. Gronneberg stated that he has a full FTE position approved in his 2024 budget for the front desk, but with this vacancy, he would like to request filling this spot prior to January 2024.

Mr. Gronneberg stated he has funds in salary savings from the present 2023 budget to cover this expense.

Mr. Sprague moved to approve, Mr. Redlinger made the second and all members present voted in favor.

Lease Agreement with Prairie Public Broadcasting Approved:

Mr. Redlinger presented a short-term lease agreement between the City of Fargo and Prairie Public Broadcasting (PPB) in reference to the fire they experienced at the main office located at 207 5th Street North in Downtown Fargo. Some PPB staff have been displaced or working from home while repairs are being made to their office.

Mr. Redlinger proposed that the PPB be permitted to utilize the former Human Resources Office in the Civic Center commencing November 1, 2023 with terms outlined in the agreement.

The Finance Committee is asked to consider and recommend approval of the Lease Agreement between the City of Fargo and Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Mr. Piepkorn moved to approve, Ms. Thompson made the second and all members present voted in favor.

Adjourn: The time of adjournment was 10:18 a. m.