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Employee raises among county budget goals

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

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Hanover County employees could see a salary increase next year.

“Merit” salary increases for both county and school employees are the focus of one of the board of supervisors’ initiatives for Fiscal Year 2015.



“We’ve had a lot of good folks that have stuck with us during the recession,” said County Administrator Rhu Harris.

Harris introduced the supervisors’ goals, which are what the county hopes to achieve in the upcoming budget, at the board’s Feb. 12 meeting.

Last week the school board approved their budget, which included a 2 percent raise for all employees.

Harris told supervisors at the Feb. 12 meeting that they should not be surprised if they see a similar increase in the county’s spending plan.

He added that Hanover’s economy is starting to get better and he believes county employees should be recognized for their work.

Staff has also recommended the county perform a “citizen survey,” which is conducted every three years and shows how satisfied residents are with Hanover’s government. This would be the fourth survey since 2005.

“We see that as a very valuable tool,” Harris said.

The National Research Center carries out the survey for Hanover in addition to numerous other localities across the nation, but each locality can customize their individual surveys.

As a result, Tom Harris, public information officer, said that it allows county staff to compare Hanover citizens’ responses to those of other localities.

An update to the county economic development plan is also in order.

“This is one in a cycle of many of our vision and strategic planning tools that we use,” Harris said.

County staff works with the business community to discuss and devise an updated plan. Harris said they often discuss the strengths and weaknesses of existing strategies and figure out what can be improved.

Next on the list of the board’s goals for Fiscal Year 2014 is the implementation of Hanover’s stormwater management  program (see related story above) to comply with state mandates.

“The real scenario here is that the mandates are coming,” Harris said.

The state’s ordinances and regulations are written and localities must adopt them.

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell awarded Hanover and 30 other localities grants to help fund specific stormwater management projects. The county received $416,750 for one project.

All localities must have a program in place by July 1 of this year.

In addition to the implementation of that program, another priority is keeping the construction process for the new courthouse building on schedule.

Harris said a bid for construction of the facility will take place, at the latest, by Jan. 4, 2015 and county staff hope the building process will begin in the spring of 2015. He added that construction should take roughly 18 months.

The county’s proposed financial plan will be presented to the board Feb. 26 and could be approved as soon as April 9. On Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., the public will be able to weigh in on the budget.