By. Brent Wilson Field Officer
Greene County, like many localities in the region is starting their Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) process. Interestingly, Virginia state law strongly suggests the CIP process be initiated by the unelected Planning Commission.
A local planning commission may, and at the direction of the governing body shall, prepare and revise annually a capital improvement program based on the comprehensive plan of the locality for a period not to exceed the ensuing five years. The commission shall submit the program annually to the governing body, or to the chief administrative officer or other official charged with preparation of the budget for the locality, at such time as it or he shall direct.
Greene’s Planning Director, Jim Frydl, lead the Planning Commission through their CIP work session for the 2020-2021 budget at their November meeting.
Frydl explained that each county department is provided a budget form. The annual budget process for the county is twofold – an operating budget and a capital budget. The input from all departments, which is updated annually, serve as the starting point. The information from the CIP for structures/space will be used in conjunction the survey recently conducted in Greene County.
The next step, to be completed before the December 18th Planning Commission meeting, will be to receive the requests from all county departments. The requests will be sorted into three categories –buildings expenditures exceeding $20,000, equipment expenditures exceeding $5,000 and safety and security equipment expenditures exceeding $5,000 (public safety expenditures are excluded from Virginia Freedom of Information Act requests and, therefore, are categorized separately).
The timeline for the process is to have all of the requests back before the December Planning Commission meeting so that all of the requests can be reviewed and summarized for presentation at the December meeting.
The information is then forwarded to the Board of Supervisors at their first meeting in January, 2020 so that the data can be reviewed and they can determine what to include/exclude for the budgets.
Based on the Board direction, the finance department will then prepare the budget documents for public hearing and eventual adoption.
Planning Commission Chairman Jay Willer asked Frydl for clarification what the Planning Commission role is in the process. The answer was to review and ensure that the requests are in synch with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.
Commissioner Steve Kruskamp asked what happens if a department does not respond. Frydl stated that would be taken as a negative response but assured the commission that the County Administrator will review the requests to ensure that there were no significant omissions.