Board adopts FY19 budgets

Published 8:20 am Friday, May 4, 2018

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the previously presented fiscal year (FY) 2019 county and school budgets and

Wade Bartlett

tax levies for 2018, but with some key considerations acknowledged. Supervisors left themselves room for the opportunity to make adjustments before appropriations, and it was also made clear that the budget could change once the General Assembly adopts its budget.

The county budget will level fund the schools.

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As Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride read in the resolution to approve the FY19 county budget; it is a budget of $54,934,764.

Prospect District Supervisor J. David Emert read the motion to approve the school budget, noting the school fund is $25,765,776, of which $8,440,984 is local revenue as a transfer from the county general fund.

The total for the school cafeteria fund is $1,301,000, none of which comes from the county general fund. This provides for an overall FY19 Prince Edward County School Budget in the amount of $27,066,776.

“Now because we’re passing this budget before the General Assembly has passed a budget, we’re going to have to come back and amend this budget,” County Administrator Wade Bartlett said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, because we don’t know how much money we’re going to get from the state, especially with the schools. I’m fairly confident we know what we’re going to get concerning the general fund area, because all that is is the courts and constitutional officers, and there’s been no discussion of any issues with those funding streams.”

He said what he imagines will happen is that once the General Assembly reaches a compromise, it will likely involve the governor having to reduce the money he allocated to education in his budget, since the House and the Senate budgets allocated considerably less.

“So it’ll be different, that’s all I can tell you, and we’ll have to amend that,” Bartlett said. “And I’ve had discussions with the (Prince Edward County Public Schools) superintendent and her finance director on that, and they understand that.”

Bartlett and the board addressed some items prior to adopting the budget.

Bartlett noted the increase of insurance reserve line of $55,000 but indicated that personal property collections are higher and that the insurance increase could be handled.

He also addressed the issue of funds relevant to a school resource officer.

“I think that’s going to take care of itself, because I would assume it’s all because of the shootings in school that they’ve opened up the school resource officer grants for everybody again,” he said. “Ours was running out this year. They would normally go for three years, and that’s it. Now they’re opening it up for everybody no matter how long, so it appears we will get that grant again, and that grant’s about $25,000 …”

Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr. noted that relevant to Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR)Area Agency on Aging, Inc., last year’s budget was increased by $5,000 for a grant that had to have county matching money. Both Timmons and Bartlett indicated that PSR did not receive the grant.

Bartlett recommended moving the $5,000 to the contingency line, allowing for allocation back to PSR if it gets the grant.

The board also discussed the possibility of employing someone who would act as both a county attorney and as an Information Technology (IT) consultant.

Bartlett said, “My plan on that would be that since the attorney portion works directly for the board — doesn’t work for me, works for the board, the IT would work for me — that the board would be part of that hiring decision … however the board wants to do that in the interview process. We probably wouldn’t even advertise that until June, give or take.”

Reflecting on the notion of hiring someone with both legal and IT expertise, Farmville 701 District Supervisor Jim Wilck said, “That’s a pretty unique person.”

Bartlett replied, “Well, we have a lot of unique people that work for us, and a lot of small counties do.”

Supervisors affirmed a desire to learn more details about what this position would entail in terms of salary and responsibilities and to make financial adjustments later when appropriating funds.

Farmville 801 District Supervisor and Chairwoman Pattie Cooper-Jones said, “I have a motion to approve the budget as presented with the idea that before appropriations, we can make those adjustments, and to move the $5,000 from Piedmont Senior Resources to the contingency fund … and that includes level funding the schools.”