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King George adopts $65,000,000 budget, including $35.6 M for schools

The King George Board of Supervisors adopted its previously-proposed 2013-14 budget with no fanfare at a short special meeting last week on April 23. All members were present, and the vote was unanimous.

For the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the total budget for the county is $65,489,552. This includes $35,603,036 for the School Board’s operating fund. The average daily membership (ADM) for the division is based on an estimate of 4,100 students.

The division is projected to end the current school year with state funding based on 4,102 students. All school–related expenditures would come to $41,614,966, which is an increase of $1,790,465 over the current year, which includes $1,000,000.

Budget highlights listed below.

TAX RATES
Tax rates had already been adopted following a public hearing at a meeting earlier this month, on April 16. Three residents had commented with Jim Lynch and Warren Veazey, saying they would welcome a tax increase. Nadine Lucas asked when the current real estate assessment underway would take effect. That will happen on Jan. 1, 2014, to affect taxation amounts beginning with the June 2014 billing, next year.

No tax increase was proposed by County Administrator Travis Quesenberry, and no tax rates were changed.

Following the public comment, Supervisors had unanimously readopted the current real estate/mobile home tax rate of 53-cents per $100 valuation. Personal property taxes also remain unchanged at $3.20, with machinery & tools taxed at $2.50, both assessments per $100 of assessed valuation.

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
The budget includes the following highlights.  Employees will receive a one-percent salary increase beginning July 1, along with a one-percent increase for Virginia Retirement System funding. Employees will pay their share of a health insurance increase.

Quesenberry has clarified that department heads may decide to allocate the raises differently within their departments in concert with the county’s pay-for-performance policies.

Six additional staff for Department of Emergency Services are to be hired mid-year in January 2014, to provide round-the-clock staffing for the Fairview Beach Fire Department, whose building is slated for renovations. A new part-time position was created for the General Properties department to hire a custodian for when the newly-renovated Smoot Library reopens later this calendar year. Funding is also included to convert two part-time positions to full-time for Animal Control, and one part-time position to full-time for Parks & Recreation.

$322,000 is to be transferred from the County’s Revenue Stabilization Fund for the Fire/Rescue positions, Animal Control positions, and the pay increases.

Funding was increased for maintenance, utilities and fuel, as well as for the Social Services and Comprehensive Services Act.

Four vehicles will be purchased for the Sheriff’s Office, and $100,000 was transferred from the County’s General Fund Balance for one-time equipment purchases.

There were reductions made in funding seven outside agencies, with no funding for requests from new outside agencies.

An increase in Ambulance Recovery Fees to insurance providers is projected to provide an additional $177,000 in revenue. $596,476 is available for cash-funding projects in the upcoming 2013-14 Capital Improvement Program.

Phyllis Cook

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