Outstanding FY 05/06 Budget Issues




Consideration of outstanding budget issues




Tucker, Foley, Breeden, Bever






June 1, 2005


ACTION:     X                         INFORMATION:   



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During the budget development process for FY 05/06, the following items were identified for further research:



The first three items on the above list will be addressed in this executive summary.  The last four items will be presented to the Board in a July executive summary.




4.2 Fund County services in a fair, efficient manner and provide needed public facilities infrastructure.




Funding for Save the Fireworks

In March 2005, the County received a request to provide funding of $10,000 to the Save the Fireworks organization.  This issue was discussed during the budget development process at which time the Board indicated it would consider some contribution, but requested additional information on the City’s funding.


The City of Charlottesville does not make a cash contribution to this organization, but estimates an in-kind contribution of $10,500 for services provided by their Police, Parks and Recreation and Transit Departments.  We understand that the organization has discussed some cash contribution with the City, but we have not received any indication of the City’s decision on this.  The organization requested this to be an ongoing annual commitment by the County.


East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department Loan Repayment

In FY 04/05, the Board approved an appropriation of $41,930 to the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) for forgiveness of a loan used to purchase a piece of apparatus for the VFD.  The amount of $41,930 represented approximately one-half of the outstanding balance owed on this piece of apparatus.  In FY 05/06, the East Rivanna VFD has requested the Board appropriate additional funds to pay off the remaining one-half of this loan, which is $41,930.  This is the only remaining debt of any volunteer agency in the County due to the Board’s policy to forgive the loans associated with the purchase of apparatus for volunteer fire and rescue squads.


Public Safety Reclassification

The Board approved implementation of the pay study for our public safety providers effective January 1, 2006 through adoption of the budget for the coming fiscal year.  This approval will implement pay changes that ensure that our public safety staffs in the Police Department, Fire Rescue Department and Emergency Communications Center are paid in line with the market and that there is appropriate equity between the agencies.  Police Officers, in particular, have fallen behind the market and this fact has been a concern regarding recruitment efforts.  Implementation of the study will greatly improve both our competitiveness and our internal equity.


As the study has shown, the pay for a number of positions is currently behind the market.  Staff would like to propose that the Board approve the use of one-time projected year end savings from FY05 to implement the pay study effective July 1, 2005 rather than waiting until January 1, 2006.   Because of the difficulty the public safety departments have had in filling vacancies, enough funding is currently available from projected year end savings in those departments to fund the additional six months of expense.  Because this change had already been planned beginning in January, the increased cost would only be a one-time expense.  Staff feels that this change in timing is appropriate given the final results of the study and would also be a significant benefit to both our recruitment efforts and the morale of our employees. 




Funding for Save the Fireworks

The Board will need to decide if this will become an ongoing or a one-time contribution and the amount of that funding.  Funding can be provided from the Board reserve or from year-end fund balance.


East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department Loan Repayment

One-time funding in the amount of $41,930 will be needed for the loan repayment.  Funding can be provided from the Board reserve or from year-end fund balance.


Public Safety Reclassification

Due to vacancies in the public safety departments over the past year, staff anticipates a year end savings of approximately $270,000.  The one-time cost to implement the results of the pay study in July rather than January is estimated at $220,000.  The budget impact of changes in pay for the Emergency Communication Center is estimated at approximately $7,000 and will be covered through regional funding currently available.  Therefore, no additional funding will be needed for the ECC.




·         Funding for Save the Fireworks: 

County Executive staff has no recommendation regarding funding for Save the Fireworks at this time.


·         East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department Loan Repayment: 

Staff recommends the Board approve funding to the East Rivanna VFD to pay the balance of the loan for apparatus based on previous Board policy.


·         Public Safety Reclassification: 

Staff recommends funding for early implementation of the public safety salary study effective July 1, 2005.


The necessary budget amendment and appropriation request will be submitted to the Board in July, 2005.


Return to regular agenda