• 59°

Good Financial Year For County

PRINCE EDWARD – It was a good financial year for the County – revenues will be greater than the amount budgeted and expenses will be less.

County Administrator Wade Bartlett presented a financial overview of the recently completed fiscal year at the board's July meeting.

Bartlett reported that it appears that they will have about $500,000 more than originally budgeted, although he cited several one-time events.

Specifically, the County received the reimbursement from savings associated with the library construction bond ($183,000), over $51,000 from the sale of property for delinquent taxes, and that the treasurer collected $121,000 more this fiscal year in delinquent taxes than the prior year.

Collectively, Bartlett said, it's about $350,000 of the $500,000.

In a memo to the board, it was estimated that revenues will be about $20.7 million (compared to slightly more than $20.2 million budgeted). It was noted that a “considerable amount of funds must still be expended when the bills arrive. These include such things as electrical and phone costs and items ordered the last month of the fiscal year that were either not delivered by the end of June or the bill had not been received.”

In other budget news, the County Administrator reported that two revenue sources underperformed the budget: merchant's capital (an indication of business inventory) was down $34,000 and the landfill fees were down $50,000. Bartlett assessed that both were “definitely related to the slow economy.”

On the flip side, he cited that it appears expenditures will be $300,000-$400,000 less than budgeted.

“And that was almost all the way across the board,” Bartlett told the board.

The single largest item was in the comprehensive services, which was about $145,000.

Farmville District (701) Supervisor Jim Wilck noted that they spent about $2.2 million more than last year “so this is not exactly a windfall of money that we can go out and spend. It just puts us in a better position. Is that not right?”

Bartlett agreed, but added the reason they're spending $2.2 million is because of the proposed borrowing.

(The County struck a deal with Farmville in 2008 to purchase a section of water and sewer service lines stretching beyond the County's industrial park and have access to Town water and sewer service into the future. The line of credit funded that project – the purchase totaled $2.5 million – and was extended to include costs associated with a water project study.)

Wilck would go on to add that he just wants to “make it clear this isn't an abundance of money we can rush out and spend on projects.”

Bartlett also offered that next year they are going to have some “pressures” in capital.

“We have not been spending much money in capital -especially sheriff vehicles,” Bartlett said. “Sooner or later we're (gonna) have to get caught up on that.”

He reported that the department needs to replace about four to five a year and that they've been replacing two or three for the last three years.

Most of the vehicles, Prospect Supervisor Howard “Pete” Campbell cited, have “like 120,000-150,000” miles on them.

Bartlett added that it's getting more expensive to maintain some of them because of their age.

He also cited that the schools still have some stimulus money (several hundred thousand dollars), which is all gong to be gone next year “and so there'll be some pressures in school funding if the state doesn't step up, which who knows what the General Assembly will do?”