The Amelia Bulletin Monitor

Supervisors hold first budget workshop

At its first FY ’25 budget workshop meeting held Monday (March 4) the Amelia County Board of Supervisors were presented with three drafts of possible budgets for the upcoming budget year. The workshop was a continued meeting from the board’s Feb. 21 regular meeting and the supervisors decided to hold a second workshop on Monday (March 11).

Former Amelia County Finance Director Joshua Worrell, who earlier resigned to work in his family’s business in Blackstone but agreed to help the county through its budget-decision period, presented the supervisors with the three draft options, explaining one was with level funding and 1 percent cost of living increase or COLA; the second also had level funding but included a staff-recommended 3.5 percent COLA; and the third version retained the 3.5 percent COLA but with departmental-requested increases.

The first option resulted in a total county departmental expenditure of $15,208,480 – a .17 percent increase over FY ’24’s $15,182,249. The second option includes a 1.26 percent increase to $15,373,115, and the third option increases the percentage increase to 7.17 percent or $16,271,344.

Both Options 1 and 2 use the additional 30.44 percent public school budget increase from FY ’24’s $18,242,577 to a proposed $23,796,141. In Option 1 this increases the total county budget from $36,636,660 in FY ’24 to $55,830,315, or a 52.39 percent increase. In Option 2 the increase is 52.8 percent or $56,007,070. Option 3 uses a 38.72 percent, or $25,306,546, school budget, bringing the county’s total budget to $58,415,704, a 59.45 percent increase.

Option 3’s school budget is the one being considered, but not yet adopted, by the school board.

All three options project a $.04 increase, from $.38 to $.42 per $100 of assessed value tax on real estate and mobile homes. Personal property ($4.15) machinery and tools ($1) fire and rescue ($.50), public service real estate ($.42) and public services personal property ($4.15) would remain the same.

This projects a tax revenue of $7,794,790. A further $191,707 is projected from delinquent taxes for 2025.

The supervisors also want to discuss the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP), with some projects’ cost estimates still to be pinned down. They broached the possibility of using any excess CIP funds for other uses, as well as any still outstanding proffers revenue. The county is no longer allowed to require new proffers for developments, but some previously required proffers are outstanding.

Option 1 projects a total FY ’25 revenue of $52,426,623, an 11.65 percent increase over FY ’24.

Option 2 includes $52,477,387 in revenue (11.75 percent increase) and Option 3 includes $54,145,871 (15.31 percent increase) in revenue. Mr Worrell forecast a $762,641 deficit for FY ’25.

In discussion, the supervisors decided they wanted to bring in the heads of those departments with large budget increase requests. It was noted there are no new county personnel positions included in the draft budgets.

District 4 Supervisor Joseph Easter said he wanted county Treasurer Stephanie Gough Coleman to come to a workshop to explain why there is so much delinquent tax revenue but the county still has one of the highest collection rates in the state.

District 5 Supervisor Todd Robinson said the county might consider an increase in other fees such as business licenses and vehicle decals and Mr. Easter believed those had not changed for a while and asked those fees be compared to those of other localities.

Before continuing the meeting to March 11, board Chairman David Felts (Dist. 1) mentioned Powhatan County wanted $39,000 per year for Amelia to use its 911 radio tower, but said that would be worked out.

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