By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors approved filling a gap in the School Board budget for the last fiscal year.
In the middle of the fiscal year, School Board Office officials realized the projected state revenue would be less than budgeted, by over $500,000. Officials starting spending less for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Revenues overall came in $659,000 less than budgeted. School officials spent $561,000 less than budgeted as well.
“The bottom line is we missed the revenue by $98,000,” said school superintendent Gena Keller to the supervisors.
Don Weaver (Cunningham District) questioned how the projections were higher than actuals. One reason is the district lost 69 students year over year in the average daily membership.
“If there is wiggle room [in the budget] this isn’t a public story,” Keller said.
Mozell Booker (Fork Union District) said a more funded budget would give better the district space to adapt to issues like this.
Weaver appreciated the information Keller provided and lauded her administrative team for their candidness.
“I think we are getting a lot of good information here,” said Weaver.
Tony O’Brien said, “When there is a drop in [non-local funding], it falls on us.”
Supervisors discussed what a contingency fund would look like just for the school budget. However, 1 percent of the school budget would be $300,000. That is more than a cent on the real estate tax rate.
“We (Board of Supervisors) have a contingency fund and I think it works quite well,” said Weaver.
A 1 percent contingency is what is typically judged as a safe margin to over budget to give cushion when revenues come in low or expenditures run high. The Fluvanna school budget contingencies are spread in small portions across multiple budget lines.
The School Board Office administrative team didn’t spend money in FY14 by doing matters like replacing employment opening slower and cutting instructional materials.
The supervisors voted 4-0 for the supplemental funding. Also at the Oct. 15 meeting, supervisors approved a $39,000 loan to Fork Union Sanitary District (FUSD).
FUSD recently raised rates and supervisors are hoping the new rates will stop the need for regular loans. The board will hear an update on FUSD revenues in early 2016.
The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.
Photo Credit NBC29