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King George budget updates show projected surplus

The King George Board of Supervisors heard good news at last week’s meeting on May 7 when reviewing monthly financial reports for 2012-13 provided by Donita Harper, Director of Finance and Deputy County Administrator.

The reports provided end-of-year projections for the out-months, with actual expenditures and revenues plugged in

for the current year through the end of March.

Harper pointed out that the county is currently projecting a year-end surplus of about $359,000, though it could change between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The surplus is largely due to tight reins on county spending by County Administrator Travis Quesenberry,  including some positions in the budget that are unfilled.

There is also more revenue from taxes than budgeted, from several sources, due to conservative estimating by Harper.

 

SCHOOL BOARD
There was good news on the school division finances, too. Harper pointed out, as she has in previous months, that the School Board will be showing deficits due to under-budgeting for new Virginia Retirement System (VRS) costs that went into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year.

But the good news is that the projected deficit is much less than it could have been, currently estimated at $169,469.

At this time last year, the worst-case scenario was painted at as much as $800,000 over budget, due to calculations for VRS that had to be made prior to complete information coming from the state regarding implementation.

Division Superintendent Rob Benson was present at last week’s county meeting, saying he concurred with the current amount of the estimate.

Supervisors indicated they had no issues with the over-expenditure due to VRS, and would cover that amount. Chairman Dale Sisson requested Benson and Harper to bring back a recommendation for a budget amendment that the board could consider for action.

SCHOOL BOARD
The School Board received the finance report from Benson earlier this week, with him telling them the same information for the current year’s budgeting.

At this week’s School Board meeting on May 13, Benson also informed the School Board they would have to trim $937,208 from their funding request for next fiscal year, 2013-14, which begins on July 1.

He said the haircut would be necessary, “to develop a true budget.”

He said that he has worked with staff to identify approximately $1.125 million in possible cuts from their budget request, so they can pick and choose what they might want to keep and what must be eliminated.

Benson distributed a broad list indicating areas and figures that could be cut, adding that he would send them details about what is contained in the listing prior to a budget work session.

That budget work session meeting was scheduled for next Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at the School Board Office.

The broad list of potential reductions distributed by Benson includes the following:
Grant Position - $51,500; Community Relations Position - $51,500; 2.5 High School Teacher Positions Reduction - $107,500; 1 Middle School Special Education Teacher Position Reduction - $36,000; 2 Paraprofessional Positions Reduction - $40,000; Delay two-percent raises until January - $180,000; Technology - $150,000; Operations & Maintenance - $100,000; Transportation - $96,000; High School Athletics - $30,000; Writing Program - $80,000; Investigations - $10,800; Health Premiums - $92,148; Elementary Furniture - $3,300; Paper - $60,000; Textbooks - $20,000; Lunch Monitors - $26,673.

Benson provided few details, intending the discussion to take up a separate meeting next week, since it was not an agenda item for this week’s meeting.

Benson clarified that no people would be cut, adding that any positions eliminated would be by attrition or by not filling positions that had been proposed. It is not clear how that would apply to the possible elimination of cafeteria monitors.

Phyllis Cook

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