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Albemarle County Newsroom

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County Presents FY 2011/2012 Operating Budget to the Board of Supervisors
2/25/2011

Budget materials available online at www.albemarle.org,  public hearing set for March 2 at 6:00 pm

County Executive Tom Foley today presented his recommended FY11/12 Operating and Capital Budget to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  The budget totals $301,078,469 and is balanced on the existing tax rate of 74.2, resulting in a tax decrease for the average property owner for the second year in a row.

“Last year our budget process focused on significant reductions and repositioning as we faced a second year of major revenue declines coupled with increases in mandates,” said Foley in introducing his recommended budget.   “This year many local revenue sources have stabilized and while we have not regained those lost revenues we are not faced with the unprecedented imbalances of the past two budgets.  We are living within the constraints of recent reductions and are focused on cost savings and resource reallocation as both a reaction to economic conditions and as a fundamental organizational transformation.”

The County’s Fiscal Year 11/12 recommended combined capital and operating budget totals $301,078,469, an increase of $8.8 million, or 3%, (of which $7.6 million is from bond proceeds for capital projects) from the FY 10/11 adopted budget.   This total budget includes the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, School Fund, School Self-Sustaining Funds, Capital Funds and Debt Service Funds .

The General Fund Budget is where the majority of County revenues, including local tax revenues, are received and allocated to support all operations of the County including local government and schools.   General Fund expenditures total  $215,581,818, an increase of 1.1%, or $2.3 million, and reflect significant reallocation of funding across departments to support priority needs and core services.  As has been the case in the past, the largest increases in General Fund spending are focused on support for education and public safety expenditures. 

The overall spending priorities included in the proposed budget are highlighted below according to the goals established in development of the budget.

This budget meets our basic obligations and core services

  • Transfers 60% of new local revenues to the School Division based on the approved funding formula, resulting in an additional $1.2 million for school operations
  • Reflects public safety cost increases for staffing, overtime and training to address critical needs 
  • Provides additional funding to meet contractual obligations for public safety agencies, including the regional jail, emergency communications center, and the SPCA, as well as projected increases in the City fire contract
  • Funds the $18.1 million revenue sharing payment to the City (a decrease in revenue sharing for the first time since the agreement began in 1982)
  • Provides a 1% increase to most community agencies and adheres to all contracts and agreements with others

This budget provides financial stability through careful fiscal stewardship

  • Establishes a 1% stabilization fund 
  • Reserves $744,000 in contingency funds for potential revenue shortfalls from the state or other unanticipated needs
  • Returns the vehicle replacement fund to a more sustainable level
  • Reflects anticipated state and federal budget impacts and provides contingency for unanticipated circumstances
  • Projects strong year-end fund balances to protect the County’s AAA bond rating
  • Reflects decrease in health insurance contributions resulting in savings of $274,089, or 6.5% from adopted FY 10/11 budget

This budget supports the continued transformation of our organization in adapting to changing circumstances

  • Repositions staff to support core services with no net increase in personnel costs 
    • Eliminates three additional positions for a total of 66 positions eliminated or frozen
    • Unfreezes two police officer positions and Deputy Director of Social Services to support essential services
    • Provides additional support to Finance Department by unfreezing Finance Account Clerk position, reallocating position from County Executive’s Office to Finance Department, and expanding Director of Housing position responsibilities to include grants management
  • Restructures County fleet management operations which will eliminate a minimum of 10 non-public safety vehicles in the first year – the program will be staffed with ¾ FTE position funded by departmental savings
  • Continues expenditure reductions in operational areas including Community Development and Parks and Recreation Department based on workload and shifting resources from enhanced to core services

The budget looks forward with a focus on innovation, high performance, and economic vitality

  • Reserves funding for operating Ivy Station which is anticipated to open in FY 13 as a core public safety commitment
  • Streamlines work functions by funding on-line systems for Parks and Recreation reservations, meeting room scheduling and work order processing
  • Supports the Board’s priority of economic vitality
    • Continues funding for Economic Opportunity Fund and adds funding for a Target Industry Study
    • Funds program support materials to implement the Economic Vitality Action plan 
    • Continues to fund Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development and Piedmont Workforce Network
    • Reflects reallocation of staff to provide greater focus on economic vitality priorities 
  • Supports staff by providing a 1% market increase, this will be the first increase since FY 08/09

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