Board approves $390.8M county budget
Hanover supervisors unanimously adopted a $390.8 million budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which includes slightly more funds than the initial spending plan.
At the March 9 board of supervisors’ meeting, Shelly Wright, budget division director, presented a few changes to the county administrator’s budget to include roughly $200,000 more.
Part of the added funds consists of a $98,000 grant for Hanover Fire-EMS, which falls into the general fund and was received after the county administrator proposed the initial spending plan of $390.6 million. In addition, more money was allocated to increase employee salaries for individuals in the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office — a request made by the Commonwealth’s Attorney last month.
The health department also saw an increase in funds from the state, which the county is matching at 45 percent. Additionally, money was added into the general fund for public utilities ($111,000) and airport finances ($2,000) as a result of the county returning to a single retirement rate for both Law Enforcement Officers Supplement (LEO) employees and those who don’t work in the public safety department.
Though funds were increased in the amended budget, it does not include any changes to the real estate tax rate.
At the Wednesday afternoon meeting, a few supervisors spoke in regards to the budget adoption process and Aubrey “Bucky” Stanley, Beaverdam District supervisor, voiced support for the spending plan and pointed out that a number of other localities are considering tax increases while Hanover is not.
“[Cecil R.] “Rhu” Harris, his staff and input from this board [have] come up with a budget and five-year plan, without a tax increase,” Stanley said. “In my opinion, it provides our citizens with their needs.”
Chickahominy District Supervisor Angela Kelly-Wiecek addressed and clarified concerns some citizens expressed, during last month’s budget public hearing, about outdated computer software and programs in the schools.
“In the budget, as presented, was $1 million in capital and $3.4 million in operations to ensure that all computers will be brought up to Windows 7 as an operating system,” Kelly-Wiecek said.
Many citizens provided input on the spending plan throughout the process, and during the budget public hearing last month. Board Chairman Sean Davis, Henry District supervisor, thanked the citizens who gave their input, whether it was for or against the budget.
“The fact of the matter is we need to hear from you,” Davis said.