Bartlett proposes FY19 budget

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The proposed Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Prince Edward County budget does not include any tax or fee increases and level funded most expenses including the schools, according to a county press release.

Wade Bartlett

The release notes that County Administrator Wade Bartlett presented the proposed budget March 27 to the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors. He stated that he used the input provided by the board during the initial budget planning session March 6 as the primary guidance he followed in creating the proposed budget.

“I could not have completed the budget without the help of the judges, constitutional officers, school superintendent, department directors and the county staff that works in my office, and I appreciate their assistance,” Bartlett said in the release.
He provided a projection of what the county’s financial position would be on June 30, 2018, county officials stated in the release. They noted that he estimated the county’s cash balances will increase by almost $1.5 million during the current fiscal year, ending with a balance of slightly more than $13.7 million. He explained that of that amount, $2.3 million was restricted either by legal requirements or by past practices of the board, leaving $11.4 million.

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As the release cites, Bartlett explained that the county’s normal cash flow cycle would result in 42 percent of those funds being expended before real estate and personal property taxes are collected in December. This would cause the county’s cash balance to drop to $6.6 million in the October time frame. Bartlett stated the renovation projects involving the courthouse and STEPS Centre that the county has acquired will cost as much as $4 million, dropping the cash balance even further.

County officials then noted that Bartlett ran down a list of various revenues and expenses forecasting the final collections or expenditures for the fiscal year.

After establishing a starting point for the next fiscal year, Bartlett then provided a summary of the proposed budget, the release states. He is recommending level funding for the schools at $8,440,984. Bartlett reiterated that most expense lines were level funded, which included charitable donations and county departments.

The release indicates that Bartlett reviewed some of the larger expense items. These items included $135,000 for three cars for the sheriff, $45,000 for a truck for animal control, $42,000 for a geographic information system and $75,000 for the second payment for the new voting machines purchased last summer.

The proposed budget also includes some notable decreases in specific expenditures. As county officials cited in the release, Bartlett pointed out that due to a refinancing of some of the county’s debt, the county debt expense is $200,000 less in FY19 than it has been, and the amount to be
spent on capital items will decrease by $150,000.

The release concludes by noting that the board of supervisors will hold a public hearing on the county budget, school budget and tax rates Tuesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Room on the third floor of the Prince Edward County Courthouse, located at 111 South St.