By. Teresa Gulyas, Greene County Field Officer
The Greene County Board of Supervisors met with department representatives on March 10th in an all day budget work session designed to frame the budget for FY 2011.
Parks and Recreation identified a comfort station at the park as a top priority but this would require increased funding from the Board and/or private citizen donations. The master plan for the park was discussed. Shared facilities between the park and school could include tennis courts but field restoration fees for some school sports have impacted on the Parks and Recreation budget. Board members asked if there had been consideration of increasing fees or adding revenue-generating projects. They discussed reducing fixed costs and the seasonality of park employment.
The School Board budget request included reinstitution of the summer school program and no salary reductions. A lively discussion ensued with the Board of Supervisors requesting data about student: teacher ratios from similar school districts in Virginia. The sense from the Board of Supervisors was raising real estate taxes is not a consideration at this point.
At the state level, there has been some discussion of consolidation of the county’s Cooperative Extension Program with the offices in Madison and Orange counties. The potential for reduced accessibility led students and 4H participants to send letters to Governor McDonnell and Representative Rob Bell requesting continued funding for the Greene County office.
The Greene County Rescue Squad said that the winter weather contributed to depletion of emergency assistance funds.
Planning District Ten will continue working with the county on the comprehensive plan, a multimodal transportation plan, and the home consortium. New programs in the strategic planning process include grant writing and administration workshops, broadband infrastructure initiatives, regional joint procurement programs, traffic analysis using models and simulation, and GIS and e-government services.
The Jefferson Madison Regional Library would like to extend their open hours at the Greene County branch but this would require a 4.6% increase in funding. Their multimedia presentation highlighted the variety of services provided by the library, including high speed internet, fax, and notary service. Weekly job seeker services sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission continue to be popular.
Priorities for the Economic Development Authority include institution of a performance-based incentive plan for the Director, moving the office manager from a part-time to fulltime benefitted position, and expanding business appreciation activities. Marketing will be directed toward attracting defense contractors to support DIA and NGIC at the Joint-Use Intelligence Analysis Facility as these businesses positively impact the tax base and have limited resource consumption.