Thursday, February 25, 2016

Drama free budget

The proposed Goochland County budget for fiscal year 2017, which starts July 1, was presented to the supervisors on February 22.

The budget, based on retention of the 53 cents per $100 of assessed valuation real property tax rate, is essentially flat from last year. Addition of a part-time employee in the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue to handle DMV transactions, will be funded by DMV fees; a deputy to act as a resource officer for the high school/middle school complex; and several full time fire-rescue providers will be added to the county payroll.
Education is the largest spending category with $21,160,000 the proposed local transfer. This is a 4.4% increase over last year, more than requested in the proposed school budget.

County Administrator Rebecca Dickson explained that the proposed budget does not include funds for well and stream testing. Legislation pending in the General Assembly includes a study to by the United States Geological Service that might accomplish the same goal at the state’s expense. Other actions pending in Richmond, especially those concerning education, could change the budget numbers.

Before you hit the delete key on this post, please go to the county website and take a look at the proposed budget, right there on the left of the home page under “budget and capital improvement.”
The Goochland County budget has been recognized for excellence in past years, and is well worth a look. This well-crafted document contains much interesting information about Goochland County above and beyond the numbers.

The capital improvement plan, which itemizes big ticket spending five years out is there too. Capital improvements are infrastructure that cannot be paid for in an annual budget cycle like schools, fire-rescue apparatus, and public utilities.

The supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget in early April and vote to set tax and utility rates on April 18. Until the rates are set, adjustments are possible.

Town hall meetings scheduled for March are designed to discuss the budget and gather citizen feedback. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. The schedule is:

Districts 4&5 Wednesday March 9, Hermitage Country Club, 1248 Hermitage Road
Districts 2&3 Thursday March 17, Goochland Library 3075 River Road West, Courthouse Village.
District 1 Monday March 21, Byrd Elementary School, 2704 Hadensville-Fife Road.

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