City and Borough of Juneau
Finance Committee Meeting
March 5, 2003, 5 p.m., Chambers

I. Call to Order

II. Approval of minutes from the February 19, 2003 meeting

III. FY04 Budget Issues and Update
We are currently projecting a significant funding shortfall for FY04. The Finance Committee conceptually approved the FY04 budget, during the FY03/04 Biennial Budget process, with a budget balancing measure of withdrawing more than $400,000 from the Sales Tax Budget Reserve. It was hoped that additional savings could be found to make up this amount. Since that time a number of budget changes and impacts have occurred which will increase our funding shortfall. Staff will present and discuss these funding issues at the Finance Committee meeting and seek Assembly input.

Enclosed in your packet is a summary of the anticipated shortfall. We have also provided some recent budget history to give the Committee some background on previous proposals to reduce the budget and the resulting Assembly actions.

IV. Community Service Officer Vacancy
The Manager is requesting early Assembly approval for an increase of $47,000 to the Juneau Police Department budget to cover absences of one of our Community Service Officers (CSO) who has been called to active military duty. It is necessary to begin recruitment now to cover this vacancy for the summer months. As the FY04 Preliminary Budget is developed, we will look for offsetting decreases in expenditures or revenue increases to reduce this additional cost as much as possible.

A full explanation, from Chief Gummow, of this schedule and staffing issue is in the packet.

V. JCVB Request
JCVB is interested to participate in the Alaska Travelers Survey program to be conducted by The McDowell Group. The JCVB notes that the Juneau Tourism Management Plan identifies the need to have on-going visitor research that tracks Juneau’s visitor industry segments and that market research is essential to improving customer satisfaction, crafting good marketing decisions, identifying new opportunities and adjusting to changes in the marketplace. The McDowell Group has indicated that the cost to participate in the 2003 summer survey would be $27,500. To fully fund this cost would impact JCVB’s established marketing programs and operations budget. As such, the JCVB board is requesting financial assistance to help obtain the visitor industry data for Juneau.

Enclosed in your packet are letters from JCVB and The McDowell Group.

If the Finance Committee approves this request, suggested funding sources are the monies allocated to implementation of the Tourism Plan or from the FY03 Marine Passenger Fee revenues. While there is currently a surplus of $48,000 in the line item for implementation, an unknown amount will be needed to assist the efforts to form Juneau Tourism Partnership. Using $10,000 from this source for JCVB is a safe number. This funding has already been appropriated and funding from this source could be done by Assembly direction.

VI. JDHS Reno Project General Obligation Bond Issue Ballot Question
Voters approved a 1% 5 year sales tax proposition in October 2000 that included $4.1 million for the JDHS Renovation project. In 2002, the State legislature, with voter authorization, approved opening up funding for the State’s School Construction Bond Debt Reimbursement Program. Under this program local governments can receive reimbursement for general obligation school construction debt service at 60% or 70% (depending upon the project amount and DEED’s authorization). It has been determined that the CBJ could issue qualifying general obligation bonds which would be funded from this 1% temporary sales tax levy. By issuing bonds we would obtain State participation in the cost of the JDHS construction project. This would result in a net financial benefit for CBJ’s school capital projects.

To proceed we would need to obtain voter approval. A draft of the ordinance has been included in the packet. Staff will present an analysis and additional information during the Finance Committee meeting.

VII. Central Treasury Investment Options
On February 5, a Central Treasury investment management report was presented to the Finance Committee. That report included some recommendations on possible ways to enhance investment returns. Staff was to analyze the various options and present recommendations to the Finance Committee. The Treasury Staff have analyzed the three different options for adding value to the Central Treasury investment program. They include –
    Expanding the internal investment management functions,
    Adding a second external investment manager, and
    Expanding the internal investment management and adding a second external manager.
After a great deal of research on the various options, the Finance Department is recommending we expand the internal investment functions and not add a second manager at this time. The expanding the internal management should add revenues significantly greater than the cost and provide some flexibility not available with a second external manager. The Treasury Division report is included in the packet. Staff will present their finding and recommendations to the Finance Committee.

VIII. Information Items
A. FY04 Budget Schedule
The budget will be delivered to the Assembly on Monday, April 7, 2003 (April 5th is a Saturday) and Finance Committee meetings are schedule for every Wednesday after that date. Enclosed in your packet is the FY04 budget schedule.

B. Update on Ambulance Billing
On February 5, 2003, CBJ’s auditor Elgee, Rehfeld, Mertz and Barrett presented information on ambulance billing difficulties. It was noted that staff was in discussion with Bartlett Regional Hospital (BRH) on assuming this function. It is felt that BRH is much better staffed and trained to handle this type of billing function. BRH is reviewing various billing options, including the feasibility of using a 3rd party contractor. To date they have been in contact with several possible contractors. Bartlett has not made a decision on accepting this function.

C. Update on Sales Tax Collection on Pull Tabs
Several years ago a dispute arose between several pull tab operators and the City and Borough on sales taxation. Appeals were filed with the CBJ Assembly and in Superior Court. In all cases the decision was in favor of the CBJ. Prior and during the time of the appeals a significant amount of delinquent sales tax was incurred by three operations, Last Chance Co-op, Multiple Charities and ANB Camp #2, Inc. The Last Chance and Multiple Charities both consisted of a cooperative arrangement of 6 non-profit organizations. We have been able to reach payment arrangements (signed Confessions of Judgement, COJs) with 10 of the 12 organizations. One additional organization has indicated their willingness to enter into a payment arrangement.

Since entering into the COJ's with the 10 non-profit organizations, 8 have complied with the COJ requirements. Of the two that have not, one appears to be inactive.

The largest single remaining liability is with ANB Camp #2, Inc. We have been in negotiations with ANB and they have agreed to a payoff amount. In addition, they have indicated that they are currently working to raise the funds to payoff the liability. Correspondence between ANB and the CBJ is contained in the packet.