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Grundy County to receive more than $600K in overdue reimbursement

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 8:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 8:55 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – The county received some unexpected good news Tuesday in the form of a check for $667,000.

The money comes from the Grundy County 911 Dispatch Center, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite told the Grundy County Finance Committee. Dite is the chairman of the Emergency Telephone System Board, also known as the 911 board.

Since the consolidation of dispatching services roughly three years ago, the county has continued to pay all of the insurance for the dispatch center’s employees when in reality, employees costs are now shared by all of the 14 member agencies in the dispatching cooperative.

As a result, the county should have been reimbursed a portion of the employee insurance costs it paid, but it never was, Dite said.

Instead, the funds have been accruing within the 911 Dispatch Fund since May 2012, unbeknownst to those at the county and the dispatch center until recently.

The 911 Dispatch Fund is a separate fund within the county’s total operating budget and is managed by the ETSB.

“It’s money that’s in our budget, just sitting there, that needs to be transferred to reimburse the county,” Dite said.

Dite said the dispatch consolidation, coupled with the county’s turnover in the Human Resource Department and administrator position, all contributed to the clerical oversight.

“Once the consolidation happened, there were a lot of moving parts,” Dite said after Tuesday’s meeting. “We caught it because we started looking at all of expenditures and our revenues, and our balance was higher than it should have been.”

After noticing the balance, Dite said he went through the 911 Dispatch Fund in detail with County Administrator Heidi Miller and Human Resource Director Debra Johnson.

“It was just an oversight. We just never made the transfer,” finance committee member Dick Joyce said.

The newly discovered money will be transferred from the 911 Dispatch Fund into the county’s general operating fund immediately and can be used however the county sees fit.

Members of the finance committee were pleasantly surprised by Dite’s announcement.

“It’s good for the county because they get their money and it’s good for the 911 center because now they know,” Joyce said.

The finance committee agreed that insurance reimbursements should be paid to the county on a monthly basis from now on.

“Moving forward, we will correct the problem, so it shouldn’t happen again,” Joyce said.

Other business

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Department could be charging more for user services if the Grundy County Board passes an ordinance enacting the proposed fee increases.

Sheriff Kevin Callahan presented the fee changes to the finance committee Tuesday. Callahan said the fee increases are consistent with those recommended by Bellwether Consulting after it completed a cost analysis of the sheriff’s department.

Bellwether also looked at the health department and county clerk’s office. County Clerk Lana Phillips recommended fee increases for her department at the previous finance meeting. The health department is expected to present fee changes at the next meeting.

Among some of the proposed fee raises is the amount prisoners are charged for medical services provided while incarcerated at the Grundy County Jail. The fee to use the department’s Live Scan fingerprint machine will not change, Callahan said.

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