- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:23
- Published on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:23
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The King George Board of Supervisors directed Deputy County Administrator/Finance Director Donita Harper to bring back a proposal to amend the current year’s 2009-10 budget based largely on lower revenue projections from the state. The move was prompted by former Gov. Tim Kaine’s proposal to amend the state budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, known as his “caboose bill.”
The budget amendment is expected to be presented and reviewed at the next board meeting scheduled for Feb. 16.
Figures for that current-year budget amendment were reviewed at last Tuesday’s meeting with a presentation from Harper. Supervisors had also reviewed the figures at a special meeting the previous week on Jan. 26.
The constitutional offices are facing cuts in the current fiscal year based on lower revenues from the state Board of Compensation.
“I got with all the constitutional officers and they are all able to live within these adjustments in the amended budget,” Harper informed the board.
Harper said with the proposed cuts she is projecting the county to be in the black by $631,102 at the end of the fiscal year. But that could change.
The school division is facing cuts for the current fiscal year based strictly on lower enrollment.
Superintendent Candace Brown informed the School Board on Jan. 20 that the division has a current-year deficit of $1.2 million.
Though they met again on Jan. 25, none of the School Board members, as yet, has publicly asked Brown where those cuts will be made.
Since those two meetings, there has been no public opportunity to question Brown on her proposed cuts, since two meetings have been canceled, including last week on Feb. 1, as well as the scheduled public hearing and meeting this week on Monday, Feb. 8.
The next chance the School Board has to discuss Brown’s current budget and next year’s budget proposal is at a meeting currently scheduled for next week on Feb. 17.
BROWN TO MAKE CUTS
Regarding school funding for the current year, Harper told supervisors: “I have spoken with Dr. Brown, I worked with her, and the proposed amendments on her budget reduces it by $1.2 million – that’s the governor’s proposed budget. And she has also reduced her expenditures by $1.2 million.”
About Brown, Harper said, “She said that she knew the cut was coming because she knew that the ADM (average daily membership) was going to be adjusted. So, she said she is able to work within this.”
Harper told The Journal this week that she was told by Brown to plug in numbers for the various school categories that would provide a bottom line with cuts totaling $1.2 million.
Harper added that she expected to have Brown’s own categorical figures by next Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
Sisson and Grzeika discussed and decided with Harper to present a budget amendment and continue to closely monitor actual revenue and expenditure figures and monthly year-end projections.
Grzeika said, “Then as we get closer, if we have to make another amendment, we can. I think it’s good to set the stake. I think what I heard her say is the superintendent thinks she can execute.”
Supervisors directed Harper to bring back the amended budget proposal for adoption at next week’s meeting scheduled for Feb. 16.
2010-11 budget outlook
Prior to Harper’s review of the proposed amendments at the Feb. 2 meeting, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Dale Sisson talked about the budget development process for the next year.
During the time set aside for board member comments, Sisson talked about the challenges facing the county with diminishing revenues.
Sisson noted that budgeting for 2010-11 fiscal year will be tough, saying the reduced state revenues are posing tough decisions to be made.
“Folks know of the budget situation that we are all facing this year,” Sisson said. “I just wanted to reiterate that this year’s budget will present real challenges.”
He added: “I’ve seen some comments about the deficit — as to whether or not it is genuine. I can certainly assure that the numbers that we are seeing are real and it’s going to take some innovation and some real thinking to get through this year’s budget and build a workable budget that allows us to continue to deliver quality products as a county here in the coming years. And I’m confident that we will do that. We’ve prepared ourselves well, but it will certainly take some thinking.”