The proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget would begin on July 1. The County General Fund budget at $59.8 million represents a $3.6 million or 6.5% increase from the current year.
Priorities for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget include enhancing high quality core services including Public Safety, Education, and Community Health. The Public Safety departments are a key focus area for the proposed budget and includes increases of 12.6% or $1.5 million over FY 2020. Specifically, it includes ten new full-time and one part-time public safety positions to enhance services for residents, broken down it includes five new full-time fire fighters, four full-time Deputy positions and one full-time dispatcher in the Sheriff’s Office, and one part-time Assistant Fire Marshal in Fire-Rescue. Public Education remains another top priority, reflected in the proposed budget with a 4.1% or a $950,000 increase in local funding above the FY 2020 Budget.
A 2% merit compensation increase is proposed for all County employees. The County and Schools Twenty-Five-Year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) contains $630.6 million for forecasted projects. The first year of the CIP for FY21 is $5.8 million and includes investments in education, public safety, transportation, and facilities maintenance.
After hearing Mr. Budesky’s proposal on February 18th, the Board of Supervisors also heard presentations from Sheriff Steven N. Creasey, Fire-Rescue Chief Eddie Ferguson, Animal Protection Director Tim Clough, and Human Resources Director Kelly Parrish. Dr. Jeremy Raley, School Superintendent will present the proposed Schools’ budget on Tuesday, March 4th at 2 p.m.
The Board’s consideration of the FY 2021 budget continues February 25th and March 4th both starting at 2 p.m., along with a CIP Work Session on Tuesday, March 10th starting at 2 p.m.
Town Hall meetings, which will include discussions on the FY 2021 Budget, will be held on March 11th (District 1, Fife Firehouse), March 16th (District 2 & 3, Central High School Cultural & Educational Complex), and March 26th (Districts 4 & 5, Virginia Farm Bureau). All town halls start at 7 p.m. and the public is invited to attend any or all the Town Hall meetings.
The public hearing on the budget and tax rates will be held on April 7th starting at 6 p.m. Adoption of the budget and tax rates is scheduled for 2 p.m. on April 21st. All meetings are open to the public.
The County Administrator’s Proposed FY 2021 Budget can be read at http://www.goochlandva.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1697 and copies of the budget presentation are accessible at http://www.goochlandva.us/1103/Proposed-FY2021-Presentations.