Those wishing to speak on the fiscal year 2020 budget will have a chance to do so next week.
The Madison County Board of Supervisors will host a budget public hearing May 7 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at 414 N. Main Street, Madison. While the budget includes no fee increases, it does contain a proposed 5-cent increase in the real estate tax rate. Due to the recent reassessment, the fiscal year 2019 real estate rate of $.68 per $100 of value should decrease to $.654. However, supervisors are looking to increase the rate to $.70.
The approximately $42 million budget, $25 million of which is in the general fund, includes approximately $21 million in school funding, a 3.15 percent increase over the current year. The budget also includes a new investigator position for the sheriff’s office; salary increases for those who have obtained additional certifications; additional part-time and overt-time for some departments; and vehicle replacements including three sheriff’s office cars and one school bus. The budget also includes numerous capital items including funds for the public safety radio system; consolidating Thrift Road and the administration complex; purchasing the Moore building; doing something with the Criglersville Elementary School and more. Plus, there’s a 3 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for employees, some of which is offset by compensation board funding for comp board funding employees and constitutional officers.
The budget is balanced using approximately $1 million in fund balance. That money is largely set aside in contingency. According to finance director Mary Jane Costello, the funds will be appropriated and moved into the corresponding individual departments once some unfinalized expenses are determined. These include the proposed 30.8 percent increase in health insurance rates, the currently unknown transfer station contract which will go into effect July 1 and the costs associated with implementing a plan to upgrade IT.
Budget documents can be viewed online at https://www.madisonco.virginia.gov/finance/page/fy2020-annual-budget.