Members vote for increase

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

All five member localities of the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) have voted in favor of raising membership fees from $15,700 to $19,000. Member localities include Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Prince Edward counties.

With the increase in fees, the CRC will provide grant-writing services to each of the member counties at no charge, according to an agenda document from a recent meeting. As a condition of the free grant-writing services, grants that are awarded entitle the CRC to funding for grant administration. The grant-writing services will be available to every government entity within the member counties and nonprofits (501(c)(3)), though the CRC has the capability to turn down requests for grant writing if they don’t meet certain criteria.

“We’re very appreciative of the support of our member localities, and we look forward to moving this proposal forward,” said CRC Executive Director Melody Foster.

Amelia County Administrator A. Taylor Harvie III said while the Amelia County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the membership fee increase, the Fiscal Year 2019 budget has not been approved as of yet, so he couldn’t say whether the appropriation for the increase in funds was there or not.

According to an agenda document from a previous CRC meeting, the CRC agrees that at the end of each fiscal year, if the CRC Audited Cash Fund Balance is in excess of $500,000, the dollar amount more than this amount will be divided and returned to the member counties.

“This will begin with fiscal year 2018-19,” officials said in the document. “Each year at the January meeting for the CRC, the council will review the fund balance and decide if the balance amount needs to be increased. This will be done with a majority vote of the council and does not require member county approval.”

The document cited that if a county joins the CRC after the start of the fiscal year, the amount that county receives as a refund for the fund excess of that year will be prorated. In order for this plan to go into effect, it will require a unanimous vote by the board of supervisors of each of the member counties.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the CRC is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Mill Room, located in the basement of the CRC office building at One Mill St. in Farmville.