Council Discusses Budget – Farmville
Buckingham’s Supervisory Board met for its monthly meeting on Monday April 18 to discuss the budget.
A public hearing was held for Buckingham County’s operating budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Karl Carter, County Administrator, made a presentation before the hearing to cover the main points of the budget. The budget is balanced, with no tax increases, and is not dependent on receiving additional federal, state, or local revenue, such as COVID-19 funds.
The total budget is $67,394,892. It includes a 5% raise for all employees and the school is offering a similar pay increase for contract employees. The departmental health insurance rate will increase by 5.6% and the retirement rate will increase by 1.78%. The budget also includes funds for a full-time position to serve as the Registrar.
Expenditures for this budget include $34,090,641 for School Budget, $10,446,314 for Government Expenditures, $4,192,415 for Total Commitments, $3,976,179 for VPA and Service Act for Children (CSA) and $3,661,312 for debt service.
Taxpayers will only be responsible for $31,448,765 which will go to the local budget. The remaining $35,946,127 will come from state, federal, grants and other funding sources. Contributing to this fact is that the costs of emergency services, water and sewer are fully covered by other funds.
The fund balance policy requires that 10% be allocated to an unrestricted fund balance. Using all the budget except the reserves would leave $11,192,415 or 36% and also spending the reserves would leave $7 million or 22%.
Since the state has not yet finalized its budget, some numbers may change when these funds are decided.
“The biggest change in state revenue will be in our school system,” Carter said. “On the local government side, we used last year’s state numbers for most of this budget. This is prudent because we know that the Compensation Board should increase its funding at a minimum to cover the 5% wage increases.
The Compensation Board is a state commission that helps cover budgetary costs when providing services to citizens of Virginia.
Once the state passes its budget and the county can see what funds are coming in, if the amount exceeds $673,949, a public hearing will be held as it exceeds 1% of total current budget spending.
No one registered to speak at the public hearing. The Board of Directors will vote on the budget at the April 25 meeting.
• The Supervisory Board presented a resolution in Memoriam for Pat Bowe to his family. Bowe served as the long-term chairman of the Buckingham County Planning Commission and Planning Commissioner from 2009 until his death in February 2022. He was introduced to his wife Virginia Bowe.
• Emmett Lifsey, Principal Architect, Architectural Partners made a presentation to discuss the courthouse project. Parts of the courthouse have excess moisture and areas of deterioration. All of these elements will be considered as part of the project to repair and renovate the old part of the courthouse.
• Kristen Choate, Director of Quality Control at Robinson, Farmer Cox Associates, presented a summary of the audit. Everything was said correctly and the county is in good shape.
• Nicci Edmondston, Zoning Administrator/Planner presented Case 22-SUP300 for Aaron Beiler’s application for a special use permit for a sawmill on approximately 121.63 acres, located at 257 Sprouse’s Lane, Dillwyn. A public hearing will take place at the May 9 meeting on this subject.
• Ryanne Holland, EMS Coordinator, provided an update on the emergency operations plan. The plan with modifications has been submitted for approval. It is more up-to-date and user-friendly when the plan needs to be used.
• Cody Davis, Director/Chief of EMS, requested to use training reserve funds for $3,800 for a fire and rescue training course.
• Council approved the use of the community center for a job fair and waived rental fees for social services as requested by Stephanie Coleman. The board also discussed options for organizations struggling to afford rental fees, including school-age groups that meet in schools.
• Supervisor and Vice President Joe Chambers moved to recognize the Buckingham County High School girls’ basketball team for district champions.