Nearly $50M, hikes in salary cut from original
It was a virtual meeting with each of the supervisors in a different location.
On April 8, the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors heard a revised budget presentation from deputy county administrator Matt Harris. The board approved 2020 real estate and personal property tax rates, which are the same as those of 2019.
Harris said that county staff took a holistic approach to the budget revisions brought on by the impact to the economy from COVID-19.
The revised Fiscal Year 2020-21 General Fund budget — which the supervisors will vote on April 22 — totals $723.6 million compared to the original proposal of $773.2 million. This represents a difference of $49.6 million.
The proposed budget includes deferral of some projects, including a renovation of the old Beulah Elementary into county Parks and Recreation Department offices, land acquisition and some major maintenance.
According to a revised budget document, the proposed $642.7 million referendum scheduled for Nov. 3 is now “uncertain.” That referendum would fund some new schools and general government improvements.
Harris said that school funding was cut $2.9 million from what was originally proposed, but noted the figure is $9.6 million more than the current budget. Harris said county staff will look at school funding more in May when the state budget is finalized.
Nonetheless, a 2-percent pay raise for county employees was nixed in the revision, 24 part-time positions were furloughed and 40 full-time positions will be held vacant for now. There will be reduced funding for travel and training and vehicle replacements.
Harris noted that the only new positions in the revised budget are for sheriff’s office staff. This will help take advantage of space in the jail as Sheriff Karl Leonard attempts to keep as many inmates in Chesterfield as possible instead of sending them to the Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George County due to complaints about inadequate medical care.
The supervisors heard an update about COVID-19 from Dr. Alexander Samuel, director of the Chesterfield Health District.
A board document showed that, as of April 8, there were four deaths from the virus in Chesterfield and 145 confirmed cases.
“There are indications that things are improving overall,” Samuel said. He noted that more lab testing is available as is more testing in primary care offices.
There are still limitations on personal protective devices, however. With that in mind, Samuel suggests the public wear a cloth face covering if maintaining 6 feet of social distance is difficult.