By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
On February 18th, Fluvanna’s Board of Supervisors spent the better part of an hour discussing possible changes to the county’s adopted vision statement. Currently it reads: “Fluvanna County is the most livable and sustainable community in the United States.” No changes were made since at least half of the supervisors seemed to favor the current one. This was the first of three meetings Wednesday evening.
The major news occurred after the regularly scheduled meeting when the Board held a budget work session. The county staff announced that to keep services at current levels, fund proposed capital projects, and the increasing debt payments, the supervisors would have to raise real estate taxes by about $.20 per $100 of assessed valuation, or forty percent over the present $.50 per $100. To download the current budget book click here (PDF).
This scenario also would require the county to absorb certain state cuts as well. At the other extreme, if the county were to revert to its FY 2005 spending levels, it would require about a 35 percent reduction in spending, excluding debt service.
These assumptions do not address the additional cuts proposed by Governor McDonnell prior to the meeting on February 17th. The presentation was an elaboration upon earlier information and provided parameters not seen before.
For the most part, supervisors kept their counsel, except for supervisor Sean Kenney (Columbia) who stated that he opposed a tax increase and intimated that he would seek to reduce the local contribution to the school system by as much as $3 million (or twenty percent of the current $15 million).
In other business, supervisors:
· Adopted a “Financial Sustainability” chapter to the Comprehensive plan;
· Authorized a request for proposal for financial advisory services. The county recently terminated its contract with Davenport and Co.; and,
· Were briefed on economic development strategies by Ms. Liz Povar, director of business development for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors will hold a joint work session with the Fluvanna School Board to discuss budget issues on Saturday, February 20th, at 9:00 am in the new Courthouse.