By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors are still undecided about a staff pay plan for the current fiscal year.
Before the previously reported land use action [Fluvanna Land Use Fireworks] on September 7 occurred, the short handed board was tied up (2-2) figuring out how to deal with the void of state funding for a staff pay raise. The supervisors agreed during the FY2017 budget calendar to a sliding pay increase for staff. The scale was based on getting staff members who are currently paid below comparable market value closer to market value in an effort to stop the continual turnover. The vast majority of staff are at market value and were scheduled to receive a two percent increase.
The pay increase was built with money coming from the state government. When the state had less revenue then projected, the money the county is dependent on will not be given.
To keep the plan as was originally passed, the county would need to chip in $13,740 or 0.16 percent of the total budget. The county’s budget for $78.3 million includes a $50,000 personnel contingency fund and a $150,000 supervisor contingency fund.
Eager and Don Weaver (Cunningham District) would not budge past what the county originally allocated for the pay plan.
Staff gave an alternative that decreased the raise by 0.25 percent across the board but the county would have to contribute $6,034. If the raise is decreased by 0.5 percent the county would not have to contribute anything additional.
“It is not [the staff’s] fault the state had less revenue. Why penalize them?” said Mozell Booker (Fork Union District).
Chairman Mike Sheridan (Columbia District) said, “I want our employees to feel appreciated.”ger said, “I think it will take more than $13,000 to make them feel appreciated.”
Sheridan made an effort to compromise at the $6,034 contribution but Eager and Weaver would not add any funding.
“I’m sorry, staff. I’m really sorry that we don’t care enough about you,” said Booker.
Booker made a motion to contribute the $13,740 to keep the plan as originally agreed to but it failed to gain a second.
Eager moved for no additional contribution and Weaver seconded. The motion failed on a 2-2 vote.
The pay increase is scheduled to be discussed again September 21. Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) arrived to the meeting after the item was discussed. The pay raise for County Administrator Steve Nichols was also deferred.
In other business, supervisors also agreed to lease a spot on the NCT tower slated to be built at the VFW site in the Cunningham District. The tower was originally to be 199 feet. The county needs it to be 250 feet.
NCT will build the tower at the height needed and own it for a lease of $18,000 a year. The county gets a discount of $250 per month for each of the first two cellular carriers. It passed 5-0. The supervisors waived county fees to adjust the tower SUP for the new height.
Supervisors also agreed to buy a new ambulance and re-chassis another ambulance to help the Fluvanna County Rescue Squad reliable ambulances.
The Board next meets on September 21. Besides discussing the pay increase plan again, they are also scheduled to have a public hearing on vehicle license fees.
Supervisors will start the 21st with a work session on “ordinances, policies, procedures, revenue enhancement, and expense reduction discussion.” The fun starts at 4 p.m.
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Photo Credit: Fluvanna County