Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Board Conference Call

Minutes

 

June 20, 2012

 

 

UMRBA Representatives and Alternates:

 

Diane Ford

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Rebecca Flood

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Robert Stout

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Jim Fischer

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

 

Other Participants:

 

Greta Gauthier

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Barb Naramore

UMRBA Staff

 

UMRBA Chair Diane Ford called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m.  Barb Naramore took a roll call and confirmed the presence of a quorum.

 

Ford explained that the purpose of the call was to adopt an FY 13 budget for UMRBA.  She noted that the Board deferred action on the FY 13 budget at its May 23, 2012 meeting in order to allow Barb Naramore to revise her proposed budget to reflect the Board’s decisions regarding staff compensation.  Ford further explained that the Board had conducted staff evaluations as usual in February, but did not finalize its compensation decisions until its May meeting.  Ford reviewed the Board’s compensation decisions, which she communicated to Naramore in a letter dated June 8, 2012.

 

Naramore’s revised proposed FY 13 budget, dated June 8, 2012, reflects the Board’s final decisions regarding staff compensation.  Relative to the May 21, 2012 draft budget that the Board previously reviewed, the projected deficit would increase by approximately $2,700, reaching almost $9,200.  However, Ford noted that, if projected revenues are on target, this projected deficit will likely not be realized because some expense categories are routinely below budget.  She cited state travel reimbursement as the leading example of such a category, explaining that the budget reflects the maximum potential state travel reimbursement, while the states have not historically requested this level of reimbursement.

 

In response to questions from Robert Stout and Rebecca Flood, Naramore said the UMRBA has approved deficit budgets in the past.  Specifically, over the last 13 years, the FY 03, 07, and 09 budgets included projected deficits.  None of these years, however, ended with an actual deficit.  Over that same time period, FY 01, 02, and 05 produced actual year-end deficits.  Naramore attributed these deficits in part to fiscal year offsets between revenues and expenses.  She said UMRBA’s assets currently total over $900,000, the vast majority of which is in cash and short term investments.

 

Stout asked how UMRBA dues levels are established.  Naramore explained that the Board sets the dues level in August of even-numbered years for the coming two fiscal years.  Thus, in August 2012, the Board will be asked to establish the dues amounts for FY 14 and 15.  Naramore noted that UMRBA dues have been at $48,000 annually per state since FY 00.  Stout suggested that the Board consider whether this is the right level at its upcoming August meeting.  Jim Fischer observed that dues payments are already challenging for some states and that states might well not pay increased dues in full.


 

Ford asked whether UMRBA’s assets have been increasing.  Naramore said the trend lines have varied over the Association’s history.  When UMRBA was formed in 1981, it inherited approximately $1 million in assets from the joint federal-state Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission (UMRBC).  In the first few years, UMRBA drew heavily on those assets as the states worked to incorporate dues into their budgets.  Cash investments and receivables reached a low point of $415,000 at the end of FY 97.  Since then, as UMRBA has diversified and increased its revenues, investments and receivables have increased to approximately $900,000.  Naramore noted that, in inflation-adjusted terms, this is still well short of the assets UMRBA inherited from the UMRBC.

 

Naramore said that past Boards have been careful stewards of UMRBA’s resources.  They have occasionally enacted modest deficit budgets in the past, but have been wary of long term structural imbalances between revenues and expenses, particularly if they are of a magnitude that would represent a significant draw on assets.  She offered the opinion that uncertainty around revenue from state dues and federal agreements presents a significantly greater fiscal risk to UMRBA than does the $9,200 deficit reflected in the proposed budget.  If revenues drop precipitously, she said the Board will likely need to revisit the budget, particularly if the decline is anticipated to span more than one year.

 

Stout said he favors the Board’s past approach as outlined by Naramore.  He emphasized that state and federal budget constraints pose a bigger threat to UMRBA’s fiscal well-being than any proposed or anticipated growth in the organization’s operational expenses.

 

In response to a question from Stout, Naramore said UMRBA has had a budget surplus in nine of the past 12 years, with the size of the surplus ranging from $25,000 to $87,000.  She noted that two of the largest surpluses were proceeded by a deficit year.  In these instances, part of the surplus was attributable to a fiscal year offset between expenses and revenues on a particular project.  She noted that modified accounting practices, which emphasize recognizing revenue in the year it is earned rather than received, have reduced the offset issue in recent years.

 

Stout asked whether UMRBA’s auditor will be concerned if the Board adopts a deficit budget.  Naramore said that is unlikely in this instance, given size of UMRBA’s assets and the level of the projected deficit as a percentage of the total budget.

 

Fischer applauded the lower rental rate negotiated as part of UMRBA’s new lease on its existing office space.

 

Stout moved and Flood seconded a motion to approve the budget as proposed in the draft dated June 8, 2012.  The motion carried unanimously.  The approved FY 13 budget is attached to these minutes.

 

With no further business, Ford adjourned the call at 8:58 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

     Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

                      FY 2013 Budget

                     Approved 6/20/12

Ordinary Income/Expense

Income

Contracts and Grants

COE (EMP)

82,640

EPA (OPA)

177,600

IL (106 Monitoring)

75,400

Total Contracts and Grants

335,640

State Dues

Illinois Dues

48,000

Iowa Dues

30,000

Minnesota Dues

48,000

Missouri Dues

48,000

Wisconsin Dues

48,000

WQ Assessment

85,000

Total State Dues

307,000

Interest Income

Short Term Interest

Short Term (Savings)

400

Short Term (Sweep)

10

Short Term (CD)

3500

Total Short Term Interest

3,910

Total Interest Income

3,910

Total Income

646,550

Expense

Gross Payroll

Salary

236,651

OPA Wages

110,980

Benefits

59,163

Total Gross Payroll

406,794

Payroll Expenses

SocSec Company

25,221

Medicare Company

5,899

SUTA (Minnesota UC)

1,200

Workforce Enhancement Fee

250

Total Payroll Expenses

32,570

Travel

18,000

Space Rental

Office Rental

32,930

Parking

6,350

Total Space Rental

39,280


 

Reproduction

Copy Service

1,260

Printing

3,700

Total Reproduction

4,960

Meeting Expenses

16,000

Supplies

3,900

Equipment

Equipment (Purchase)

2,900

Equipment (Maint./Rental)

960

Total Equipment

3,860

Legal and Financial

Insurance

5,500

Legal and Tax Services

9,200

Bank Charges

220

Total Legal and Financial

14,920

Telephone/Communications

10,200

Postage

2,000

Other Services

4,200

Publications

2,870

State Travel Reimbursement

Illinois

5,000

Iowa

3,125

Minnesota

5,000

Missouri

5,000

Wisconsin

5,000

State WQ Travel

3,000

Total State Travel Reimbursement

26,125

OPA  Expenses

Equipment OPA

2,800

Equipment (Maint./Rental) OPA

5,900

Travel OPA

8,400

Other OPA

5,500

Total OPA  Expenses

22,600

106 Expenses

Contractor 106

44,300

Meetings 106

1,000

Travel 106

2,000

Other 106

100

Total 106 Expenses

47,400

Total Expense

655,679

Net Ordinary Income

-9,129