Finance Committee reviews charge backs, more before Supervisors meeting

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By Steve Van Kooten


The Crawford County Finance Committee met at the Administrative Building on Dec. 6 to review several matters before the Supervisors meeting scheduled for Dec. 19. Among the issues on the agenda were a review of charge back requests from municipalities in Crawford County, financial results from the Crawford County Fair and monetary information from a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.


Charge backs

Deanne Lutz, County Treasurer, introduced several charge back requests to Crawford County involving three municipalities within the county.

Lutz stated charge backs were made by municipalities to counties and schools after the state gave approval for the charge back. In 2021, Crawford County had $16, 666.98 in requests and $1,701.27 in 2022. In 2023, the total amount of charge backs was $7,119.82.

“It’s for when an assessor makes an error on their work book. The municipality has a right to come for the county’s portion of that,” Lutz said.

Crawford’s charge backs were from Freeman ($3,152.73), Seneca ($215.96) and the City of Prairie du Chien ($3,751.13).

Lutz also stated the charges were due to be paid by Feb. 15, 2024.

Gary Koch, Finance Committee Chair, and Robin Fischer, County Clerk, reviewed the amount remaining in the Contingency Fund, which had enough to pay for the charge backs.

“I’d rather take it out now,” Koch said. Koch noted that the county did not retain a large Contingency Fund balance in their budget, and, if the money was available, he preferred the county to pay it before the 2024 budget started.

The committee approved the payment of the charge backs from 2023’s fund.


County Fair

Lutz proffered a report to the committee, which showed the 2023 Crawford County Fair had made $77,112. As part of the report Lutz noted the ATV Raffle had made a profit of $1,613. Sam Morovitz, Fair Coordinator, was not present, but Lutz stated Morovitz had asked the committee to consider allowing the fair  to keep the raffle profits for use at the 2024 event.

Koch noted the 2024 budget had raised the fair’s budget significantly to pay for building and maintenance costs. Previously, the Fair Board had cited increased expenses for operating costs and had made the request for additional budget to help cover those expenditures.

The committee approved a motion to keep the profits from the raffle in one of the fair’s rollover accounts to be utilized next year.


Health/Human Services

Dan McWilliams, Director of Crawford County’s Department of Health and Human Services, said the county had joined a lawsuit against several opioid manufacturers and distributors; the result had gone in the county’s favor financially.

“That has netted us some money that will be coming to our county to abate the opioid use disorder epidemic,” McWilliams stated.

McWilliams said he had met with the Sheriff’s Office, county judge and the Treatment Court Coordinator to make a recommendation for the use of the funds acquired from the settlements. The preliminary recommendation was currently under review with Mark Peterson, Corporate Counsel, for legal advice and vetting. Per the lawsuit’s settlement agreement, the money awarded to the county had limitations outlined for expenditures. Funds would need to be spent in accordance with Exhibit E’s List of Opioid Remediation Uses.

Of the companies that are expected to pay the county, a portion were distributors like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies. Each of those companies has settled but no fund dollars have been decided on for the county. McWilliams gave an estimate of $200,000 total between them.

Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical company, had already paid $7,000 to Crawford County as part of a bankruptcy. McWilliams estimated McKinsey & Company, a consultant company, would owe the county around $11,000. 

McWilliams stated the total to be received by Crawford County was estimated to be around $800,000 over the next 18 years, and $100,000 had been received already.

Possible options McWilliams cited for the allocation of funds included the expansion of services to inmates in the county jail and other opioid-centric treatment programs.

McWilliams stated he would come back to the Committee with a recommendation in January.


Other News

-The committee approved an engagement letter with Johnson Block for auditing services for Crawford County. Fees for the service would total $49,500. Koch noted Johnson Block has been cutting down on services with counties, saying, “We’re kind of lucky because a lot of counties are scrambling right now for auditors.”

-In a review of the agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting, Fischer noted there were between 8-10 names on a list interested for an ad hoc committee to explore a possible HR/County Coordinator position for Crawford County.

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