By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
Much like the rest of the budget process, the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors passed the 2015 fiscal year budget in quick order and without much fanfare on April 16.
The budget process was full of short discussion and few residents in attendance and the passing of the budget to finish the familiar script.
One person spoke in favor during the first public comment session. Then without any discussion from the board, Mike Sheridan (Columbia District) moved to pass the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) seconded.
Chairwoman Mozell Booker (Fork Union District) voted with Sheridan and O’Brien to pass the CIP on a 3-2.
The tax rate and budget was moved by O’Brien and seconded by Sheridan. Again, Bob Ullenbruch (Palmyra District) and Don Weaver (Cunningham District) voted against the measure but Booker joined the majority in a 3-2 vote.
The budget is 22 percent higher than last year but the extra money comes some from increase tax revenue but includes $12.5 million of debt service for the CIP.
The real estate tax rate increases from $0.795 to $0.88 per $100 assessed. The increase in revenue will help pay for the CIP, debt service incurred previously, public safety, information technology and the school system.
The School Board will receive $1.5 million over FY14 budget. It is anticipated the Board of Supervisors will also have to contribute an estimated $200,000 to $250,000 to fill a hole in the FY14 budget because of over anticipated average daily membership. Overestimating the ADM miscalculates the state contribution to the local budget.
The CIP is for five years but the supervisors only commit to paying for the current fiscal year. The FY15 budget will borrow $12.5 billion for items like a Zion Crossroads water project, James River Water Authority construction costs, renovations to the middle school and emergency service vehicle work.
The largest item on ‘out years’ is still the ‘multigenerational center’ that has been discussed in the CIP since at least 2009. It is placed in FY18 for $2.6 million.
The supervisors will work on alternative revenue sources at the next work session on May 7. The alternative ‘revenue’ are various taxes and fees the county currently does not collect such as business/professional/occupational licenses, meals tax, revenue recovery of emergency services and other charges.
Also at the April 16 meeting, supervisors opted to allow the state to handle the stormwater management program for the county and heard updates from the procurement department, planning department on 2013 development activity and compensation of various boards, commissions and committees.
The next supervisor meeting is May 7 at 4 p.m. followed by the revenue work session.
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