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County adopts tax increase-free budget

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted its county operating budget — along with the school operating budget — for fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 on Tuesday.

The more than $53.5 million budget — set to take effect July 1 — includes no tax or fee increases, an additional $123,802 in local funds to the school division and $6,145 in additional funds to the recently renamed Barbara Rose Johns Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library.

Robert M. “Bobby” Jones

The budget also includes allowing schools to keep savings of up to $150,000 from the current FY 2016-17 budget and a $6,000 contingency fund in addition to the $150,000 cap for charitable donations from the county. Supervisors stipulated the savings transfer is not permanent.

The approval followed a joint public hearing where no citizens spoke.

Prior to approving the budget, Lockett District Supervisor and Chairman Robert M. “Bobby” Jones offered gratitude to County Administrator Wade Bartlett for the ease of the budget process.

“I’d like to thank (Bartlett) for all of the hard work he did on this and also the board,” Jones said. “He did an excellent job preparing the budget, and it makes it all easier on us.”

For the upcoming FY 2017-18 budget, the school division had requested $314,639 in additional local funds — a request that was met by supervisors with a funding increase of $123,802 in the then-proposed county operating budget. The $150,000 savings transfer would bring the division within $41,000 of its original request.

Significant expenditures in the approved budget include $120,000 for the sheriff’s office to purchase three new cars, $32,350 to purchase new computers and printers and $200,000 to purchase a new computer-aided dispatch/reporting system.  The budget includes $70,000 to purchase new voting machines.

This is a corrected version of the original story.