Thu04242014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Water, sewer hike proposed for July 1

The King George Service Authority Board last month authorized a public hearing for a meeting on June 15 to hear from customers on proposed water and sewer rate and fee increases.
Residential bills for customers with both water and sewer who use up to 5,000 gallons per two-month billing period would go up $8.15. The minimum bi-monthly bill for water and sewer is currently $86.87.  It is proposed to go up to $95.01.
The proposed increase would be about $4.08 per month for customers with a minimum usage of 5,000 gallons per two-month billing period.  That minimum of 5,000 gallons is not planned to be changed.  

Read more: Water, sewer hike proposed for July 1

Supervisor’s backroom dealings overshadow budget vote

The King George supervisors may have been divided on the issue of the county’s budget but they were unanimous about one thing - their unhappiness with emailed comments made by James Monroe supervisor John LoBuglio.

By a 3 to 2 vote the Board approved a budget of $62,053,003, including $34 million for schools. Supervisors Grzeika and Sisson voted against the budget.Supervisor Grzeika voiced his concern that the decision to take funds from the county’s fund balance would require a tax hike of between 10 and 13 cents next year just to stay even with this year’s funding unless the reserves were raided again.

Read more: Supervisor’s backroom dealings overshadow budget vote

BOS majority: Spend reserves to increase School Board budget

The stage has been set for this week’s King George public hearing on the budget (following our press time on Tuesday).
At last week’s budget meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 14, a new majority of three board members emerged. That new majority appears to have been prompted in part by pressure from members of the School Board.  
Cedell Brooks Jr., John LoBuglio and James Mullen said they had each received the same chart e-mailed to them.  Brooks said his was from School Board member Dennis Paulsen, along with a follow-up phone call from Paulsen.

Read more: BOS majority: Spend reserves to increase School Board budget

Joint meeting provides very few answers

The King George Board of Supervisors and the School Board touched on only a few of the 20 questions forwarded in advance from both boards to which answers were sought at last week’s joint meeting.
All members of the Board of Supervisors were present on April 6, including Chairman Dale Sisson and Supervisors Cedell Brooks Jr., Joe Grzeika, John LoBuglio and James Mullen.  
Four of the School Board members came to the joint session, including Chairman Lynn Pardee and members Renee Parker, Dennis Paulsen and Mike Rose.  
Member Rick Randall missed the joint meeting, which lasted from 4–5:35 p.m., instead showing up after it was over and telling The Journal he thought it was at 6 p.m.
The main idea on which both boards agreed is they need more and better communication.
After wrangling over some budget issues, the two boards agreed to Sisson’s suggestion that they meet together once a quarter.
“I think we can all agree that we need to work harder at working together,” Parker noted.

Read more: Joint meeting provides very few answers

Brooks proposes increase to 53¢ in real estate tax

The King George Board of Supervisors last week, on April 6, voted to advertise a possible tax increase for real estate and mobile homes from the current 45 cents to 53 cents per $100 valuation. No other tax rates are proposed to be changed.
Supervisor Cedell Brooks Jr. pushed supervisors to authorize advertisement of 53 cents instead of the equalized rate of 50 cents, as recommended by County Administrator Travis Quesenberry.
Due to new real estate assessments that went into effect Jan. 1, the total assessed value of property in the county was reduced by 6 percent from the previous year.
In order to offset that decrease, a real estate tax rate of 50 cents would be necessary to levy the same amount of real estate tax as last year.  

Read more: Brooks proposes increase to 53¢ in real estate tax

Supervisors revise school budget to match $1.2M gap

The King George School Board this week reviewed figures that Superintendent Candace Brown provided to make cuts in the current year’s budget due to lower enrollment.
Brown had likewise provided the county with the amount for cuts and last week they were incorporated into county budget cuts that total $1,203,548 in the current year’s 2009-10 school division budget.  
These cuts are due to lower state revenue to match lower student enrollment. In December, the state revised its estimated average daily membership for King George from 4,095 students to 4,039.  
That’s because the higher number of students did not materialize.
Under that scenario, the county was also provided the ability to cut its funding to match the lower enrollment figure.

Read more: Supervisors revise school budget to match $1.2M gap

2009-2010 budget amendment to reflect lower state revenues

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.

SCHOOL DIVISION
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.

Read more: 2009-2010 budget amendment to reflect lower state revenues

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