In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the Mason County Commission briefings held on November 22, 2021. The briefing covered various topics, including support services, financial policy updates, and the allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). We will delve into the key points discussed during the briefing and provide a step-by-step breakdown of the important decisions made by the commission.
Support Services Updates
The briefing began with updates from support services. Diane introduced a new lease agreement with North Mason Resources in Belfair, which offers office space to the veterans service officer. The lease agreement was proposed to be put on the agenda for approval in 2022, with a monthly rent of $350 payable from the veterans assistance fund. The commission expressed no issues with this proposal and decided to include it on the agenda for approval.
Financial Policy Updates
Jennifer presented the financial policy updates, which had been reviewed and sent out countywide. The changes focused on internal allocation costs, with specific amendments to the calculation of internal rates and the inclusion of information technology rates and equipment rental in the policy. Jennifer also emphasized the importance of reviewing fee calculations before charging customers and highlighted the need for continuing education for grant managers. The commission agreed with these changes and expressed support for the comprehensive updates to the financial policy.
Purchasing and Grant Training
The financial policy updates also included changes related to purchasing and grant management. It was decided that vendors could receive funds through electronic funds transfer (EFT) by filling out an authorization form provided by financial services. Additionally, the auditor’s office would host periodic grant classes to ensure that grant managers stay up-to-date with their continuing education. The commission approved these changes and recognized the significance of maintaining strong internal controls and effective grant management.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund Allocation
The briefing proceeded with a discussion on the allocation of funds from the ARPA. The commission reviewed a spreadsheet showing the current status of the funds and the approved requests. The spreadsheet categorized the approved items and displayed the total requests and the funds already allocated. The commission verbalized their approval for some items, amounting to $6,028,111. However, there was still $456,340 remaining to be allocated from the initial round of funding. It was noted that an additional round of funding would be received next year, bringing the total available funds to $6,940,790. The commission requested regular updates on the allocation of funds to stay informed and make further decisions in the future.
Property Tax Assistance for Businesses
Lisa, the treasurer, proposed reallocating $75,000 from the approved funds to support local businesses with property tax assistance. This reallocation would help businesses struggling with delinquent property taxes, particularly personal property taxes for equipment used in their operations. The commission supported this idea, emphasizing the need to prevent small businesses from facing foreclosure due to unpaid taxes. Certain attestations would be required for businesses to ensure they have not applied for other ARPA funds. The commission praised this initiative and expressed their agreement with the proposal.
Update on Resolutions and Budget Amendments
During the briefing, there was also an update on a resolution setting a public hearing for the budget amendment in December. A $8,678 increase in revenue and expenditure for superior court was included in the resolution. The funds were received from the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and were primarily related to COVID-19 response efforts. The commission expressed no concerns or issues with this change. However, questions were raised regarding a similar appropriation for district court, and further clarification was requested.
The Mason County Commission briefings on November 22, 2021, covered a range of important topics related to support services, financial policies, and the allocation of funds from the ARPA. The commission approved a new lease agreement for veterans affairs, updated the financial policies to improve internal controls and grant management, and discussed the allocation of ARPA funds for property tax assistance to businesses. The commission also reviewed a resolution for a budget amendment and acknowledged the need for further clarification on similar appropriations for other departments. These briefings highlighted the commission’s commitment to supporting local businesses and ensuring effective financial practices in the county.