EMS District part of budget change

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its regular September meeting to amend the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget, with changes impacting the newly created Emergency Medical Service (EMS) District, Prince Edward County Public Schools and the county government.

It was at its regular August meeting that the board voted to adopt the ordinance establishing a countywide EMS District, and the board also voted to approve the following tax levies for that district: 1 cent for real estate and 10 cents for personal property, including machinery and tools but excluding merchants’ capital.

Wade Bartlett

The August board meeting packet noted that “it is anticipated the EMS District levies will generate approximately $300,000 per year in revenue.”

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During the board’s regular July meeting, it voted to authorize Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) to immediately purchase a new ambulance, the one delivered Sept. 13.

In a July press release, the county stated that it “will provide immediate funding for half of the $250,000 total cost of the ambulance and the balance upon delivery. It is envisioned this cost will be paid from the revenue generated by the dedicated tax levy.”

In the board’s regular September meeting, County Administrator Wade Bartlett said that “contained in the budget amendment is the budget creation for the new EMS fund. As you will recall, the board approved the appropriation of $128,000 to assist in the purchase of a new ambulance for PEVRS. That was all done while we were still in negotiations with all of our partners in this issue.

“The thought was that our partners would help in funding the remainder of that ambulance, but what actually occurred, as most of you already know by now, is that the Town of Farmville, Longwood and Hampden-Sydney have all pledged to provide $30,000 to help fund the (rescue squad’s) executive (director) position,” he continued. “In addition, the Town of Farmville has agreed to provide up to $50,000 annually to assist Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad in all maintenance of the vehicles, which will relieve the county from providing funding for those two elements.”

He directed supervisors to flip the page in their board meeting packets so they could see a chart listing all of the budget amendments being made.

“What you’ll see is the revenues in the various categories, real estate, PSC is public service corporation, and all of those revenues add up to $300,000, which that’s the amount we have talked about,” he said. “Then you’ll see the expenditures side is the vehicle. That would be for the remainder of the vehicle that we only paid half of, plus communications equipment or radios, we need a radio in that and that’s $8,900, which would leave $36,000. We will reimburse the general fund once we collect those revenues from that EMS fund.”

The credits on the chart relevant to the EMS District include $153,121 from the real estate levy, $136,079 from personal property, $9,900 from public service corporation, $800 from mobile homes and $100 from machinery and tools. The debits include $255,000 for the PEVRS ambulance, $8,920 for PEVRS communication equipment, leaving $36,080 to the EMS fund balance.

Bartlett went into detail on the other budget amendments as well.

“I received a letter from the school board chairman informing us they’d be receiving $137,467 from the GO Virginia competitive funding pool,” he said. “The grant is called the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers or GOTEC. It’s a workforce development grant.”

He said that additionally, the schools will be receiving $268,849 in what is called a School Improvement Grant fund.

“That’s going to be used at the middle school,” he said.

Summarizing the overall amendment impacting the schools, he added, “That total is $406,316, and all of that will be expended out of the Instructional category.”

Bartlett stated that county staff was also requesting reappropriation of a total of $41,672 from the Fiscal Year 2019 budget into the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

“This request is allowed by section nine of the Annual Appropriations resolution that the board passes each year,” he said. “Of that amount, $26,150 will be used to update computers and printers, etc. The county’s technology consultant had some personal issues this past year that went on for a few months that prevented him from completing these purchases, but the outdated computers, printers, etc. still need to be replaced, so we’re just trying to move those funds, which were budgeted last year, into this year’s fund.

“Then another $15,522 will be used to purchase an animal control insert,” he continued. “That actually has been purchased, but it did not arrive until after the end of the last fiscal year. So we had, if you recall, a new truck that we bought, and we had to get then the insert for that and then it will be installed most recently here. The county did not receive that insert, as I said, until after that fiscal year, so that would be $41,672 that we reappropriate from one year to another.”