By Pauline Hovey, Greene County Field Officer
Within days of receiving an impressive financial report setting the Greene County’s reserve fund at $16.2 million, the Board of Supervisors learned that a major county employer, Video Gaming Technology (VGT), will close its doors, meaning the loss of as many as 250 jobs and $129,276 in business and personal property tax.
How that closing might affect the county is uncertain, but for now the county is in excellent financial condition, according to financial audit reports supervisors received from Robinson, Farmer and Cox Associates at their meeting last week. Here are the highlights of a comparison of fiscal year data through the end of June 2011:
- Greene County debt reserve has dropped 79.3%
- Unreserved funds have risen from $.02 million to $16.2 million
- As a percent of the annual budget, unreserved funds rose from 0.4% to 31.5%
- The general fund balance has gone from $3.3 million to $16.3 million – a 394% increase
- Net assets have increased 125 percent
These are impressive reserves for a county that only 10 years ago was borrowing money to pay bills. Now supervisors must decide how much to keep in reserve and where and how to spend the remainder. There’s no shortage of choices, as Greene County has some challenges ahead.
In addition to the closing of VGT, the county faces significant decreases in state funding, which will particularly affect the school budget, and a decrease in property taxes with the upcoming property reassessment. Added to that is the impending capital projects and current and future needs, including water impoundment, which will surely be needed, based on continuing growth in the Ruckersville area including the supervisors recent rezoning approval planned unit development (PUD) on Route 29 north that will bring townhomes to Greene County.
Supervisors are in the midst of the 2012/13 budget process and currently reviewing the capital improvement program. Stay tuned for more developments.
Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org