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*Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings, Eric F. Purcell and Jack T. Wright|
Fitzgerald A. Barnes arrived at 6:57 p.m. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
|Others Present:||C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Amanda Lloyd, Office Manager and April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk|
CALL TO ORDER
On motion of Mr. Havasy, seconded by Mr. Harper, with Mr. Barnes being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to reconvene the meeting.
Chairman Wright called the May 9, 2007 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 6:00 p.m. Mr. Havasy led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Questions & answers from 4.11.07
Mr. McLeod stated the Board asked him to get a master list showing all County owned volunteer equipment. Mr. McLeod said Emergency Services didnt have an updated inventory list, but Denice Marrs, the Dispatch Supervisor, is currently trying to get that listing for an inoperability project. Mr. McLeod added he would provide the Board with a copy once it has been received.
Mr. Harper questioned what the inoperability project is. Mr. McLeod said the inoperability project is a project in the Sheriffs Department where the radio systems are being looked at so different counties can operate jointly in an emergency. Mr. McLeod said the Richmond group, that is coordinating the project, met with Mr. Schlemmer, Mr. Hardy, and Ms. Marrs to look at County owned radio systems. Mr. Harper questioned what would happen to the list after received. Mr. McLeod stated he thinks the list should be kept up to date. Mr. Harper questioned what types of County equipment would be listed. Mr. McLeod said all of the communications equipment.
Mr. McLeod said the Board asked about receiving a site plan for the additional parking at the Administration Building. Mr. McLeod said Mr. Lintecum, Mr. Pauley and Mr. Gentry have met to discuss this project. Mr. Wright said he has been told that parking has been difficult at the Library. Mr. Wright stated he thinks that issue needs to be looked at to see if it is a valid complaint.
Mr. McLeod said the Board questioned the potential of refuse sites being doubled up. Mr. McLeod said he has received information from Mr. Linhares about where additional refuse sites could be located. Mr. McLeod said Mr. Linhares has provided an evaluation from each refuse site and he has also included a map showing additional proposed sites.
Mr. McLeod said the Board questioned the cost comparison of buying pickup trucks and ATVs versus four-wheel drive vehicles. Mr. McLeod said Mr. Linhares compared four four-wheel drive trucks, two-wheel drive trucks and ATVs for an average cost. Mr. McLeod said the average of a two-wheel drive truck and an ATV is $20,579 and the average cost for a four-wheel drive vehicle is $18,222.
Mr. McLeod said the Board asked for more minutes from past meetings when the Board discussed tax relief for the elderly and disabled and the minutes are provided.
Mr. McLeod said the Board asked for staff to research how other schools construct their CIP. Mr. McLeod said Henrico County and Prince William County CIP is provided. Mr. McLeod said Prince William County has a very good program where they discuss new schools, housing, land acquisition, repair and renewal funding, financial impact, renovations, renewals and maintenance, the schedule of renovations and renewals and a final summary.
Recap - Motions made by BOS for FY 08 Budget
Mr. McLeod stated all of the motions already made for the FY 08 budget are provided because he thought it would be beneficial for the Board.
Recommendation for Operational Budget
Mr. McLeod referenced a spreadsheet of the general fund budget broken down by the County, Schools, Social Services and the Landfill. Mr. McLeod said the total operating budget has decreased because Social Services cut almost $100,000 out of their Federal and State funding. Mr. McLeod added that decrease didnt help taxpayers any but the total budget decreased. Mr. McLeod said after the Capital Improvement is added in, the total budget is $91,550,752. Mr. McLeod said this spreadsheet also includes a breakdown of the top County and Agency budgets and debt services are a large part of this budget.
Mr. Havasy questioned how much the landfill took in last year. Mr. McLeod stated about $475,000. Mr. McLeod said he has asked Mr. Pauley for a proposal for tipping fees and he has not received that yet. Mr. Harper questioned whom the tipping fees would be for. Mr. McLeod said the question is if the Board wants to update the tipping fees to bring in more money because out of the Landfill budget of $1.5 million, the tipping fees are bringing in about a third of that. Mr. McLeod said the general taxpayer is paying about two thirds of the cost to run the Landfill.
Mr. Havasy questioned how much income is coming in from the Sheriffs Department. Mr. McLeod said for the Road Deputies Division in FY 06, the County collected $47,102.35, which is ninety-five percent and the Clerk retains the other five percent. Mr. McLeod said these are the fines collected by the General Court for tickets written for traffic violations. Mr. McLeod said for the Court Services Division serving papers, the fees are capped at the 1994 level of $1920.98 and the State gets the balance. Mr. McLeod added for FY 06, those fees were $23,712.24.
Mr. McLeod stated a summary is provided of all of the changes made for the budget. Mr. McLeod said the Board has increased the operations budget by $127,012 and increased revenue by $69,000.
Mr. Gentry questioned if the Board decided to go forward with the funding for the Fire Chief. Mr. Lintecum said $108,000 was put into contingency if it was needed. Mr. Havasy questioned if the Fire Chief would be paid $108,000. Mr. McLeod said this figure includes the salary as well as benefits. Mr. Gentry clarified that the position isnt put into concrete. Mr. McLeod said the Board would have to get the money out of contingency. Mr. Wright stated he wanted a job description of the Fire Chief. Mr. Lintecum stated that is something the Board would have to determine.
Mr. McLeod stated top ten increases to the FY 08 budget are incremental changes from one year to the next. Mr. McLeod said the Board might want to look at the top ten increases if reducing funds is desired. Mr. McLeod stated out of the $4.46 million of the top ten increases, the top increase is the School Transfer. Mr. McLeod stated out of the $1.67 million of the Schools budget, the Board has already committed to the teacher salary increases, which is approximately $978,000.
Mr. McLeod stated debt services are contingent upon what is listed in the CIP. Mr. McLeod said debt services includes borrowing for the $8 million for the new elementary school, but it has not been established what the dollar figure should be for the first year. Mr. Gentry questioned if it is necessary to put the entire $8 million dollars in on this schedule for the fact that the school is going to be postponed for a year. Mr. McLeod said not necessarily, but he has put $8 million in the budget contingent to what the Board of Supervisors and School Board decide. Mr. McLeod said the School Board has already spent $2 million out of the $8 million so they are really only getting $6 million in new funds.
Mr. Gentry said he assumes that the debt money is based on borrowing that money for a year and questioned if we need to borrow it for a whole year or can it be reduced to six months. Mr. Lintecum said it would not affect the tax rate because it is being borrowed. Mr. Gentry questioned if the money would be more for a year than six months. Mr. McLeod said yes, if the money isnt borrow at the start of the year, then less will be paid. Mr. McLeod said until the Board makes a decision on how it is going to be done, enough money needs to be put into the budget to cover how it will be done. Mr. Wright stated the money would not be borrowed until it is needed. Mr. Lintecum stated the line that would be most effected would be debt services, which is in the operational budget. Mr. McLeod stated the Board would have to cut the capital budget, which would reduce the debt services.
Mr. McLeod said $108,000 of the money put into the reserves is for the Fire Chief and the rest is for salary increases, the cash match program and contingency.
Mr. McLeod said the Facilities Management budget is based on operational increases of things that have not been updated in a while. Mr. McLeod said facilities also include increasing costs for heating, electrical and refuse sites. Mr. McLeod said the budget also includes for building enhancements that are needed.
Mr. McLeod stated the Sheriff Jail budget is for the Regional Jail contribution. Mr. McLeod said he doesnt know if the current funds need to be included in the budget, but it would cost over $718,000 if the County had to fund their part of the Regional Jail. Mr. McLeod said the Board could cut the entire amount because the County doesnt owe anything this year. Mr. McLeod said he set the budget up to put in $225,000 to lower the impact for future budgets because, eventually, the County will have to put in a contribution.
Mr. McLeod said the Sheriff Courts budget is not a “real increase” because it is offsetting an increase for the Sheriffs reduction.
Mr. McLeod stated the Community Development budget is for the three new employees, which are really being paid out of the Department fees.
Mr. McLeod stated the budget for Housing includes the Housing Trust Fund that the Board wants to continue to put in a quarter of a penny.
Mr. McLeod stated the budget for CSA has to stay at $100,000 for the increase for the At Risk Program.
Mr. McLeod stated the Transportation budget is for gas for the ambulances. Mr. Wright stated that is something the Board doesnt have any control over. Mr. Harper said if the County is running the ambulances and putting gas in them, then that means the volunteers arent putting in gas. Mr. McLeod said he talked with the volunteers and was told that they are over their allocation for the gas budget for FY 07 and they would like a year where they are not paying for our ambulances to see how things go and in the next year review it. Mr. Wright said the call volume is up.
Mr. Gentry said he understands that there isnt a number set for salary increase for County employees because they are rated by performance and evaluation. Mr. McLeod stated the increases have a range of percentages. Mr. Gentry said the School budget proposed an increase of six percent for classified and the County have some of the same positions and questioned if the six percent is reasonable, particularly if County employees are only receiving an average increase of three percent. Mr. Lintecum said County employees average increases are between four percent and four and one half percent strictly based on performance. Mr. Lintecum stated there are a minimum and a maximum percentage for increases.
Mr. Gentry questioned if the Schools classified employees should be approved for a six percent increase. Mr. Wright said the Board could only approve a dollar amount not a percentage. Mr. Gentry stated the money would dictate increase the employees receive. Mr. McLeod said the schools probably will give a six percent increase to everyone, whereas the County will basis the increases on performance. Mr. Gentry said the County needs to keep pace with the Schools. Mr. Jennings questioned if more employees were coming from the Schools to the County or from the County to the Schools. Mr. McLeod stated some custodians have come to the County from the Schools. Mr. Havasy said he wants to make sure County employees are getting paid at least as much as the School employees and he would like to see the increases. Mr. Lintecum stated he would evaluate that information.
Mr. McLeod said the School Board had twelve new positions and they cut the principal, which leaves eleven new positions that have not been approved by the Board. Mr. McLeod said the new eleven positions are broken down by compliance, growth and support. Mr. McLeod said the Board has already approved the current teacher salaries of $1.57 million, which the State pays $592,393, and leaves a total cost of $977,607 for the County to pay. Mr. McLeod stated the additional teacher salaries would be $567,855.
Mr. Gentry questioned how the small increase in the enrollment projections could justify all of the new positions. Mr. Gentry added he doesnt see justifications for the additional eleven positions. Mr. Gentry said he proposes not to approve all of the positions proposed by the Schools. Mr. Havasy said the average is about thirteen students per teacher based on the number of teachers compared to the population of School enrollment. Mr. Havasy said he realizes the teachers have work periods so that isnt a totally accurate number. Mr. Wright said he thinks the Board should decide on how much money to appropriate the Schools rather than saying how many positions should be eliminated.
Mr. Gentry said he feels that four teachers positions arent necessary and he thinks the Schools budget for new positions should be around $340,000. Mr. Purcell said from a policy standpoint, he would think that the Schools would be understanding of the fact that since the Board is budgeting for an elementary school and fully funding the increases in the salaries that the Board wouldnt be able to fully approve their request for new staff. Mr. Purcell said he thinks it is logical to decrease the budget to 340,000.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Havasy, with Mr. Barnes being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to reduced the amount of funding requested by the School Board for new teachers salaries by $227,855, an approximate equivalent of four positions.
Mr. Gentry said the efficiency study provided by the School Board stated that Administration cost in Louisa County is 34.7 percent higher than the division average. Mr. Gentry proposed decreasing the Schools Administration budget by twenty-five percent. Mr. McLeod stated the Administration budget proposed by the Schools is $1,963,668. Mr. Purcell questioned what would be seventy-five percent of the Administration budget. Mr. McLeod stated the Administration budget would be decreased to $1,472,751. Mr. Purcell said the division average is $168.47 per people and the County is at $226.87, which puts Louisa ahead of many counties listed on the report. Mr. McLeod said that would be decreasing the budget $490,917.
Mr. Barnes arrived at 6:57 p.m.
Mr. Wright questioned if it was too late to ask the School Board for full justification of Administration figures based on the comparison of other counties. Mr. Havasy said the study shows the excess in Administration costs.
Mr. Barnes questioned how decreasing the cost twenty-five percent was come about. Mr. Gentry said the efficiency study said Louisa is 34.7 percent over the division average and he decided the Board should cut twenty-five percent of the 34.7 percent. Mr. Barnes said he would object to this motion because he thinks the Board should have questioned the School Board at the joint meeting before putting forth any numbers.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 6-1, with Mr. Barnes voting against, the Board voted to reduce the amount of funding requested by the School Board for Administration by $490,917, with the possibility of restoring some funding for Administration if presented justifiable need for the funds.
Mr. Gentry said $30,000 is budgeted for the Historical Society. Mr. Gentry added the museum project that the Historical Society is doing is becoming a major project and will be exceptional for Louisa County. Mr. Gentry said the museum would be a part of the tourism attraction in the County. Mr. Gentry stated he would like the Board to consider adding an additional $10,000 or $20,000 to the budget. Mr. Gentry stated grant money and donations are being used, but a lot needs to be done by August of this year and he thinks additional money would get this project moving well for this year. Mr. Purcell stated he would be voting against the motion because he approved to decrease some teacher programs.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, with Mr. Jennings abstaining and Mr. Purcell voting against, which carried by a vote of 5-1-1, the Board voted to add an additional $20,000 to the Historical Society budget, specifically for the countywide museum.
Recommendation for Capital Improvement Plan
Mr. McLeod stated the Board has approved the Sheriffs Department vehicle replacements and the eight modular units the School Board had requested.
Mr. McLeod said the County Administrator recommended reducing the schools technology funds from $250,000 to 80,000. Mr. McLeod said the Planning Commission thinks the Board should revisit with the Schools to ask how much grants could be brought in and how much match is required to receive those grants.
Mr. Barnes questioned if money would be funded to resurface the track at the Football Stadium Complex. Mr. McLeod said the Board talked about how that particular project should be listed in the operational budget rather than the capital budget.
Mr. Purcell said the schools get back money that is over-budgeted and questioned if the money is ear marked for certain categories or can the Schools spend the money at their leisure. Mr. McLeod stated the County pays the Schools bills once a month and if they dont spend the money then the County doesnt give it to them. Mr. Barnes questioned if the County could give that money to resurface the track. Mr. Green said the money would have to be appropriated by the Board.
Mr. Barnes stated he thinks $42,000 should be funded to resurface the track. Mr. McLeod said if the money is funded in the operational budget, then the Schools dont have to spend it on the track. Mr. Gentry said this is more of a replacement item and for this year, he thinks the money should be put into the CIP.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to approve the Schools request for $42,000 to resurface the track at the Football Stadium Complex in the Capital Improvement Budget.
Mr. Barnes said $150,000 was budgeted for Zion Crossroads development for the purpose of putting together a business park if one came about or having seed money to get an option on land. Mr. Barnes said he would like to have matching funds to improve the ramps at Zion Crossroads. Mr. Barnes questioned if the Board would entertain taking $150,000 from the Zion Crossroads Business Park budget and moving it to the Revenue Sharing matching funds.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to take $150,000 from the Zion Crossroads Business Park budget and move it to the Revenue Sharing Matching Funds.
Comparison of Community Development Revenue to Expenditures
Mr. McLeod referenced a graph comparing Community Development revenue to expenditures. Mr. McLeod said the fees were changed in December 2003 and revenue was higher than expenditures until FY 07. Mr. McLeod said the Board needs to decide if the fees should be increased and a start date. Mr. Purcell stated that he would be abstaining from the vote because of his career as a land developer.
Mr. Harper said the Department has hired new people to bring the County up to a timely manner in turning over things, and questioned why it takes three to four weeks to get a single-family individual building permit. Mr. Harper stated he thought those types of building permits were issued within two weeks. Mr. Harper said the Department staff stated the reason it takes three to four weeks was because there has been a sudden jump in building permits and inspectors are in the field. Mr. McLeod said commercial developments take more time from inspectors than residential. Mr. Havasy questioned if the Board realizes how much commercial activity the County will have next year.
Mr. Harper stated maybe the County should be looking at outsourcing; when the permits drop, the staff is dropped and when the permits increase, the staff is used again. Mr. Gentry said when the commercial activity increases, he thinks people should be hired for project specific jobs rather than building up staff too much so when things slow down, the Department isnt over staffed. Mr. Gentry stated there are projects where the inspectors need to be at the site all day. Mr. Purcell agreed with Mr. Gentry and stated he has had complaints with inspections schedules. Mr. Wright said other counties are using part-time staff specifically for that reason.
Mr. Jennings said the Board is budgeting for 2007 and 2008 and commercial activity will increase but he thinks the need should be justified then. Mr. Havasy said looking at the three developments that are coming to the County next year, he doesnt see how the Board cannot approve the additional staff requested by the Community Development Department. Mr. Wright said the Board needs to find out why the permits are being delayed and decide on ways to correct the problem.
Mr. Barnes questioned when was the last time the fees were changed. Mr. McLeod said January 2004. Mr. Barnes said the biggest gripe is that contractors like to know what the fees are. Mr. Barnes said commercial activity is going up and if these fees are in line with the neighbors, then he thinks they are justifiable. Mr. Barnes said he thinks the Board should approve the proposed fees, but have Mr. McLeod, Mr. Lintecum and Ms. Sherry Vena, Human Resources Director, do an analysis to make sure the additional three positions are needed before jobs are advertised. Mr. Purcell said if the fees and the staff are approved then we have to demand an increased level of accountability. Mr. Wright stated justification is needed to provide there is a need for increased fees and staff.
Mr. Wright questioned if continuing projects are started and then the fees are increased, would the increased fees be in effect for those projects that have already been started. Mr. Lintecum said in the past, when the fees are increased, notices are sent out and a sign is placed at the Department window showing the increased fees and the effective date. Mr. Purcell said communication is the key.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Gentry, with Mr. Purcell abstaining, which carried by a vote of 6-0-1, the Board voted to accept the proposed fees as submitted and for the County Administrator come back to the Board with an effective date.
Recommendation for the Tax Rate
Mr. McLeod referenced the following spreadsheet showing the savings of a possible tax cuts.
|Three Pennies||Two Pennies||One Penny|
Home Valued at $200,000
Home Valued at $300,000
Home Valued at $400,000
Home Valued at $500,000
Public Service Corp.
Mr. Purcell questioned the average percentage increase in the assessment on County business and utilities. Mr. McLeod said public utilities are based on what the sales ratio of homes sold versus what the assessed value is. Mr. McLeod said the assessed value is 98.5 percent of the true value of the citizens assessed value, which bases the Dominion Powers total value. Mr. McLeod said in 2002 or 2003 the ratio was at 82.5 percent, which cost the County between 1.7 and 1.8 million dollars and taxes had to be raised. Mr. Barnes stated he believes the Board can do better than 63 cents and he would like to look at reducing the tax rate to 62 cents to take some of the burden off of the taxpayers. Mr. Purcell pointed out that tax rates cannot be reduced too much because assessments may be lowered. Mr. McLeod said the tax rate is at 62 cents if the Board leaves the penny that has already been cut from the budget. Mr. McLeod noted that the equalization rate is 62.345 cents. Mr. Lintecum stated the rate couldnt be set until the meeting on May 21.
Mr. Havasy questioned Mr. McLeods recommendation. Mr. McLeod said he would recommend setting the tax rate at 62 cents and if there is a difference, taking it out of reserves. Mr. McLeod noted tax rates are going to be hard to keep at 62 cents in FY 09 unless there is a lot of new construction. Mr. Barnes added the Board has done a good job in maintaining the tax rates. Mr. Purcell said he thinks it is important for the public to understand that even though the tax rates are below the equalization rate that is not going to equate to what is paid in assessments.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the May 9, 2007 meeting at 8:02 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
JACKSON T. WRIGHT, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA