By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
Fluvanna county departments and agencies have presented an ambitious $41 million capital improvement plan (CIP) for consideration in the FY 2012 budget. Highlights of the plan, presented to Fluvanna County’s Planning Commission, include:
· Water and sewer infrastructure for Zion Crossroads: $15.2 million;
· Refurbishment of athletic and other school facilities: $11.6 million;
· Parks and recreation facilities, including an “intergenerational center”: $4.6 million; and,
· Public safety (E-911, fire and rescue, and sheriff) equipment modernization: $6.3 million.
Funding for the waterline presupposes some form of cooperative venture, most likely with Aqua Virginia. There remains widespread county opposition to any waterline construction and supervisors remain divided as well.
In our analysis, the CIP, as written, has no chance of passage. The county will face higher debt service payments in FY 2012, as debt service will exceed 40 percent of real estate tax collections. Moreover, the county’s undesignated fund balance, or savings account, has dipped below $4 million. Until the past few years it had been in the double digits.
On another note, the county ended up its FY 2010 budget year with a surplus, but only because of $4 million in capitalized interest. Actual expenditures exceeded actual revenues by $1.6 million.
And county homeowners received another piece of bad news when Mr. Mel Sheridan, Fluvanna’s Commissioner of the Revenue, reported that the sales price to assessment ratio currently stands at about 75 percent. Supervisors like will have to budget funds in the next few months to conduct a reassessment in 2012. The reassessment must be completed by 2013.