• 63°

Board amends FY20 budget

The county administrator’s report during the Feb. 11 Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors meeting included Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget amendments pertaining to the schools, the sheriff’s office and the rescue squad. Surplus boats were also donated to a volunteer fire department.

The board meeting packet stated the county was notified by the schools they have received a School Equipment Safety Grant in the amount of $34,621. The schools requested the board approve a budget amendment and appropriate the same funds to be spent out of the Facilities — Site Improvement budget line.

Wade Bartlett

“These funds will buy equipment at the high school and middle school — high-definition cameras and monitors that will be installed throughout those schools,” Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett said.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the amendment. Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride was not present at the meeting.

Next, Bartlett said the board’s Finance Committee recommended the board amend the FY20 budget to grant a request from the sheriff that his budget be increased by $16,000.

The board meeting packet noted the funds are needed to replace engines in two of his cars.

“Our insurance company is still assessing the damage on one of the vehicles, and we will receive I would estimate approximately $7,000-$8,000 for that car,” Bartlett said. “The other car we will not receive any insurance on. That was just a blown engine.”

The sheriff’s office is short on cars right now and needs the cars repaired quickly, the board meeting packet stated. The committee reviewed the revenues the sheriff’s office has generated from the At-Will program. For the first seven months of the year, $128,136 has been collected. The program will generate at a minimum $199,176 this fiscal year, and if the current rate is maintained, it is projected a total of $228,775 will be collected.

The budget contains only $170,000 for this revenue, the board packet stated.

The board voted 7-0 to credit $16,000 to the Fines & Forfeitures budget line and to debit the Sheriff — Repairs/Autos line.

Touching on another topic, Bartlett said the board asked county staff to compare the radios that were being requested by Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) in an EMS grant with those recently purchased by the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office. He said this was because when they came in, the grant was more than $50,000 and there was a little question about the amount of that grant.

“After discussion with the new (PEVRS) executive director and the grant manager at the state (department) of emergency management, it was decided that it would be allowable to purchase radios that match the ones bought for the sheriff,” Bartlett said. “That saved about $10,000 in the match, bringing the total cost of the grant to a little over $40,000.”

Being a 50/50 match, that means the match was $20,051, he said. The board’s Fire and EMS Committee recommended PEVRS pay 20% of the grant match, which is $8,020, while the EMS fund covers the remainder, which is $12,031.

“The original budget called for a little over $36,000 to go into the EMS fund balance,” Bartlett said. “So we’ll reduce that (and) increase the communication (equipment line) by the $12,031.”

The board voted 7-0 to approve the FY20 budget amendment.

Noting a recent water rescue in the county that made apparent the need for immediately available boats, Bartlett also highlighted two small boats the sheriff’s office acquired from the Federal Surplus Program.

“The sheriff has realized these boats are not being used to the fullest and had the potential to be available for use if a need arose in the future,” Bartlett said. “The sheriff contacted the federal authorities, and they’ve agreed he can surplus the boats to a volunteer fire department. The Code of Virginia allows the board to donate equipment to volunteer fire departments.”

The board voted 7-0 to follow Bartlett’s recommendation to surplus the boats and allow him to donate them to the volunteer fire department that eventually will be participating in water rescue.