Board discusses budget

Published 7:01 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Buckingham Board of Supervisors met for their monthly meeting on Monday, April 18, to discuss the budget.

A public hearing was held for the Buckingham County Operating Budget for the fiscal year of 2022-2023.

Karl Carter, county administrator, gave a presentation before the hearing to cover the main points of the budget. The budget is balanced with no tax increases and is not contingent on receipt of any additional federal, state or local revenue, like COVID-19 funds.

Total budget is $67,394,892. It includes a 5% raise for all employees and the school is proposing a similar pay increase for contracted employees. The County health insurance rate will increase by 5.6% and the retirement rate will increase by 1.78%. The budget also includes funds for a full-time position in the registrar’s department.

Expenses for this budget include $34,090,641 for the school budget, $10,446,314 for government expenses, $4,192,415 for total commitments, $3976,179 for VPA and Children’s Service Act (CSA) and $3,661,312 for debt service.

Taxpayers will only be responsible for $31,448,765 that goes to the local budget. The remaining $35,946,127 will come from the state, federal, grants and other fund sources. Contributing to this fact is that Emergency Services, water and sewer costs are fully covered by other funding.

The fund balance policy requires that 10% go to an unassigned fund balance. Using all the budget except the reserves would leave $11,192,415 or 36% and spending the reserves too would leave $7 million which is 22%.

Due to the State not finalizing its budget yet, some of the numbers may change when those funds are decided.

“The biggest change regarding State revenue will be with our school system,” said Carter. “On the local government side, we used State figures from last year for most of this budget. That is conservative because we know the Compensation Board should be increasing their funding at a minimum to cover the 5% pay increases.”

The Compensation Board is a State board that helps with budget costs when it comes to providing services to Virginia citizens.

Once the State adopts its budget and the County can see what funds are coming, if the amount is over $673,949, then a public hearing will be held due to it exceeding 1% of the total expenditures in the current budget.

No one signed up to speak for the public hearing portion. The Board will vote on the budget at the April 25 meeting.

Other business:

• The Board of Supervisors presented a resolution in Memoriam for Pat Bowe to his family. Bowe was a long-term Planning Commission Chairman and Planning Commissioner for Buckingham County from 2009 to his death in February 2022. It was presented to his wife Virginia Bowe. 

• Emmett Lifsey, senior architect, Architectural Partners gave a presentation to discuss the courthouse project. There are parts of the courthouse that have excess moisture and deteriorating areas. All of these will be looked at for the repair renovation project for the old part of the courthouse.

• Kristen Choate, director of quality control at Robinson, Farmer Cox Associates, gave an audit summary. Everything was fairly stated and the County is in good shape.

• Nicci Edmondston, zoning administrator/planner introduced Case 22-SUP300 for Aaron Beiler’s request for a special use permit for a sawmill on approximately 121.63 acres, located at 257 Sprouse’s Lane, Dillwyn. A public hearing will be held at the May 9 meeting on this topic.

• Ryanne Holland, EMS coordinator, gave an update on the Emergency Operations Plan. The plan with edits have been submitted for approval. It is more up-to-date and user-friendly for when the plan needs to be used.

• Cody Davis, EMS Director/Chief, requests to use training reserve funds for $3,800 for a training course for fire and rescue.

• The Board approved the use of the Community Center for a job fair and waived the rental fee for Social Services, as requested by Stephanie Coleman. The Board also discussed options for organizations to meet who have a hard time paying the rental fee, including school-age groups meeting at the schools.

• Supervisor and Vice-Chairman Joe Chambers moved to recognize the Buckingham County High School girl’s basketball team for being district champions.