- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2008 18:52
- Published on Wednesday, 24 December 2008 18:52
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King George making budget cuts
The King George Board of Supervisors last week directed county staff to hold off on implementing annual pay-for-performance raises that were scheduled to go into effect next month.
The January 2009 raises could be implemented later this fiscal year, but it is doubtful.
That’s because like most other localities across the state, King George is making cuts and postponing expenditures in the current fiscal year budget due to lower revenues.
Deputy County Administrator/Director of Finance Donita Harper told Supervisors she was currently projecting a year-end deficit on June 30 of $1,394,125.
~ TAX REVENUE DOWN That’s because revenue collections are down in all areas, including taxes from real estate, personal property and recordation. In addition, interest income is down, along with fees from building and other permits.
Also, budgeted state revenue has been cut that had been expected from the state Compensation Board to go toward salaries for employees in Constitutional offices.
Year-to-date comparisons from this year to last year indicate that the proceeds from the above revenues are 15 percent lower, which translates to $666K less.
Postponing the raises for county employees will hold off on spending about $55,000, since the current year budget had held salary increases to a pot of money to average 2 percent for the mid-year increases.
Supervisors also directed that the additional options presented by Harper to reduce the projected year end $1.4M deficit be implemented immediately.
Those include the following targets:
~ Hiring freeze for all full and part-time position vacancies – anticipated to save about $100,000.
~ Overtime freeze, except for emergencies, unless approved by the County Administrator – anticipated to save about $100,000.
~ 3 percent budgeted spending reductions by county agencies and departments – anticipated to save about $600,000.
~ 3 percent budgeted spending reductions by School Board and Smoot Library - anticipated to save about $400,000.
~ All purchases going forward are to be based on operational necessity, with requisitions to be reviewed by the County Administrator/Deputy – anticipated to save about $200,000
Supervisor Joe Grzeika said, “I think it’s the prudent thing to do is tell all departments to make cuts.”
Grzeika also said, “I think everyone is going to have to share in the pain. There are no easy answers.”
Supervisor Dale Sisson noted that where services had been ramped up in previous years, they were ripe for cuts to be taken, noting a big decrease in building permits.
That decrease results in fewer inspections and less staff time for processing applications.
But County Administrator Travis Quesenberry said that he was preparing a plan to indicate how to use Community Development staff that would “show how we can save the county money.”
Supervisor Jim Howard also suggested that it was also time to again look at combining functions with the School Board. That could include building maintenance, custodial, and grass-cutting and landscaping, among others.
In other action at the same meeting, Supervisors voted to approve a request from the School Board and provide an additional appropriation of $125K. The funding is a portion of what was appropriated by the county last fiscal year, but left unspent by the School Board.
Superintendent Candace Brown told Supervisors the money would be spent on specific items, including $50K for band uniforms, $50K for library books and $25K for repair of the metal roof at King George Elementary School.
ALSO AT THE DECEMBER 16, 2008 MEETING:
o REQUEST FROM TRAIL REP David Jones, representing the Friends of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail requested the Board of Supervisors to include the trail in the county’s Comprehensive Plan with the proviso that no local funds be used for it.
Jones said the trail is included in the state’s Virginia Outdoor Plan, but added that the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation will not act to acquire the trail until the county Board gives its approval.
Jones stated, “Our contacts at DCR will act to acquire the trail as a state-owned linear park as soon as we have your approval.”