Budget hearing notes changes

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tracy Gee

The budget hearing during the Lunenburg Board of Supervisors lasted no more than 10 minutes last Thursday, but it yielded some changes to the fiscal budget announced by County Administrator Tracy Gee.

No members of the public spoke during the hearing.

Gee said the advertised budget, available on the county’s website, has a few differences from the budget presented during the April board of supervisors meeting.

Gee said the tax levis are based on the 2018 calendar year while the budget collections are based on the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“Because the tax books are already printed in March for the annual collections, we cannot raise the taxes that are not pre-approved for that time period, we cannot raise or lower them until the next calendar year,” Gee said. “So by proposing that the personal property rate go from $3.60 per $100 to $3.80 per $100, that would increase our budget by half of what I expected in collections.”

She noted that the full year’s collection is expected to come to $140,000.

“I reduced that down to $70,000 and added $20,000 for expected collections based on previous years’ collections,” Gee said.

Other changes, Gee noted, included reducing capital expenditures by $10,000 and funding a part-time assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office for a full year rather than a partial year.

Gee said this brought the county surplus from the original estimation of $370,000 to $267,000.

“Keeping in mind that at the end of this year in June for our first collection of the calendar year, but the last collection of the fiscal year, we will collect an additional approximate $100,000 based on our real estate reassessment,” Gee said. “Our reserve will really only drop by $167,000 if we use all of the revenue and spend all of the expenditures.”

Gee said the proposed budget also includes a $5,000 transfer from the county’s debt service fund to the capital improvements fund for the county’s schools.

Beaver Creek District Supervisor Frank Bacon expressed approval of the conservative approach to the proposed budget.  

“Being conservative, that is the best way to go,” Bacon said.

Gee said the county met with an accounting consultant, who created a proposal for the budget that is set to be included in the board packet for the regular board of supervisors meeting Thursday, May 10.

Gee said Assistant Superintendent James Abernathy will submit two invoices for a stand-alone HVAC unit, and one heat pump within a company air handler that the school board purchased materials for and installed themselves. Gee said the school division would also like to purchase a bus during this fiscal year, and purchase a separate bus when the new fiscal year begins.

The regular board meeting will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. The budget will need to be approved within seven days of last Thursday’s public hearing.