Budget includes $519K surplus

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Farmville Town Council’s proposed $30 million fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 operating budget includes a $519,000 surplus — the largest the town has ever seen, according to Mayor David E. Whitus.

The proposed budget also includes no tax or fee increases, according to town officials.

David Whitus

Regarding the budget surplus, town spokeswoman Kate Pickett Eggleston said “this does not include our cash on hand at the end of the year,” implying the surplus could potentially increase.

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A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held June 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the town council’s chambers in town hall on Main Street in downtown Farmville.

“The proposed budget includes the largest surplus we have ever had,” said Whitus. “Appropriations for key services that help to ensure the safety of our residents are included in the proposed budget, including the Farmville Police Department, the fire department and 911 dispatch services, along with appropriations for programs, including parks and recreation.”

According to a summary of the proposed FY 2017-18 operating budget, revenues include $19.5 million for the town’s general fund, $1.9 million for the street maintenance fund, $2.2 million for the town’s water fund, $2.3 million for the town’s sewer fund, $1.4 million for the town’s transportation fund and $2.8 for the town’s airport fund.

Expenditures include $19.5 million for the town’s general fund, $1.9 for street maintenance, $2.2 million for the water fund, $2.3 for the sewer fund, $1.3 for the transportation fund and $2.8 for the airport fund.

“A large portion of the proposed budget includes funding the salaries of the 165 town employees who work daily to keep the town running efficiently and effectively,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates. “A lot of these employees are not seen by the public but are working behind the scenes to ensure that we have excellent water quality, clean sidewalks, safe buildings and numerous other jobs that affect the daily workings of our town.”

According to Eggleston, the town’s newest tax — the cigarette tax — is projected to bring in $200,000 during the upcoming fiscal year.

“The (council’s) finance committee has worked diligently with the town manager to ensure that the proposed budget does not include any tax or fee increases,” said Ward E Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman J.J. “Jamie” Davis. “Our goal was to include the same high-quality services that the town has always provided without monetary increases for residents.”

Food taxes bring in the largest amount of revenue for the town’s coffers.

“It is projected that it will bring in $2,660,000 in 2017-18,” Eggleston said. “It is projected that in 2016-17, the food tax will bring in $2,515,000.”

“In addition to the assistant town manager position, the other anticipated staff position that is included in the proposed budget is for a position at the fire department,” Eggleston said.

Once selected, the new assistant town manager in Farmville could make up to $94,000 annually, according to a town-issued notice seeking applications for the new position.

The notice cites the hiring range for the position is between $90,680-$94,000.

According to Eggleston, funding for improvements at the South Main at Milnwood Road intersection is included in the proposed budget; “however, funding for the intersection of High/Oak/Griffin is not.”

The proposed fiscal year budget includes a 3-percent increase in funding for the Barbara Rose Johns Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library, totaling $1,500 in additional proposed funds.

The budget also calls for continued funding of the Farmville Downtown Partnership of $60,000 for one year.