Follow Up On Land Trust Concerns

mcc 2013At the County Commission meeting on 9/10/13, the Commissioners voted to sign a letter of support to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Squaxin Island Tribe’s application to acquire property in trust.  This action takes the parcels located in the Arcadia area off the property tax rolls and puts the parcels into “Land in Trust” for the Squaxin Indian Tribe. The following attachment is a copy of the land use resolution.

Land Use Resolution PDF

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Audit of Mason County Finances (9/9/13 briefing)
State Auditors briefed the County Commissioners on the audit of Mason County finances and practices in meeting the various grant’s contractual obligations. Most issues appeared to be a result of missed communication. The Auditors stated the financial statements looked good, there were no material miss-statements; however there were some material parts that were not installed in the Belfair sewer project. These parts were listed as inventory and not part of the project. This is to ensure material costs outside the project are captured. Another minor issue was a rollover of liabilities into the fund for the sewer project, giving the appearance there was more money in the fund than was actually there.

Regarding ER&R Charges
Auditors looked at what the ER&R charges should have been verses what was actually charged to the departments in 2012. The amount of the current estimate was $564k for 2012. Once the Auditors put all the pieces together, the finding will identify the exact amount the County will have to give back to the fund. Jeffrey’s asked for recommendations on how to handle the payback and could it be delayed. The Auditor’s reply was “figure out what the County owes and determine how you are going to pay it back”. A inter-fund loan (a loan from another fund) can be done with a three-year payback.

There Were Four Grants Audited, Two Had Findings
The Park’s grant ‘Recreation Conservation Association’ findings were due to the use of Federal and State Grants on the same project. There are different “wage” requirements between the two. The contracts required “prevailing wages be paid” and the Federal “prevailing” wages are different than the State’s prevailing wages. Per the Auditors, there was no way to tell which wage was used.

The Homeland Security Grant for Storm water had two documentation issues; scoring sheets for all bidders and a “statement of no suspension” by the contractor were not included in the language of the contracts for the sub contractors.

 

County Commission/Business
The County Commission voted to send a letter of support to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Squaxin Island Tribe’s application to acquire property in trust. This action takes the parcels located in the Arcadia area off the property tax rolls and puts the parcels into “Land in Trust” for the Squaxin Indian Tribe. The Commission indicated the Tribe had drafted a “resolution” regarding land use of the parcels. KMAS News is trying to get a copy or the resolution.

The County Commissioners did not approve a letter of support for the Forest Legacy Program funding proposal of Green Diamond Resource Company and The Trust for Public Land for the purchase of conservation easements. Jeffreys noted more time is needed to understand the affect of the agreement on future development within the county and the future expansion of the UGA.

The County will sign an agreement with Murphy Company Logging authorizing Murphy Company to harvest timber on seven parcels of county owned property (154.98 acres). Murphy Company was the successful bidder for the sale on May 9th, 2013. Purchase price of the timber payable to Mason County is $1,254,991.32.

 

Union Contract Issues Completing And A Bonus For Health Care Contributions
Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between Mason County and 1) Teamsters 252/Personal Health, 2) AFSCME Local 1504, 3) Engineers Guild, and 4) Deputy Prosecutors / Woodworkers Local W38, to be signed by the Board upon final ratification notice by the respective bargaining units. The MOUs would modify the current Collective Bargaining Agreements to increase the County contribution for Health & Welfare benefits to a maximum equivalent of $955 per employee per month effective August 1, 2013. Along with these Union Contracts the Commission approved a resolution which provides a County contribution increase for Health & Welfare Benefits to the Non-Union employees and Elected Officials to a maximum equivalent of $955 per employee per month effective August 1, 2013.

September 11, 2013/JE KMAS News