The Patrick County Board of Supervisors scheduled a public hearing on the upcoming budget for Monday, May 8.
The board will hear comments from residents about the budget and does not plan to approve the budget at the meeting.
The board will hold a special called meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15.
It also will meet on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. and on Monday, May 22 at 6 p.m. in the third-floor courtroom of the Patrick County Administration Building to discuss the county’s budget.
Finance Officer Lori Jones said the proposed FY2024 budget is over $69 million including the funds for the Patrick County school system.
Jones said the budget also does not include funds for the contingency fund line item in the current year’s budget. She said three contingency items were in play.
“One is the Contingency Fund, which is a separate fund kept by the treasurer, that contains $164,196.35 as of March 31,” she said. The second is the contingency fund line item in the FY2023 budget, which has a balance of $577,886.51 as of March 31.
“After June 30, 2023, I will assess the overall position of the FY2023 budget and transfer a sum (up to the total in the contingency fund line item) from the General Fund into the Contingency Fund,” she said.
Jones said the third is the contingency fund line item in the FY2024 proposed budget, which is currently at $0.
“Once the board works through the budget, any surplus will be put in this line item,” she said.
In other matters, the board:
*Heard from Kurt Bozenmayer about the budget. Bozenmayer said the budget committee has the “often-thankless job of turning a $651,000 deficit into a $275,000 surplus, only to see it driven back into the red” by requests like the Children’s Services Act (CSA).
Last month, he said the board approved keeping the tax rate unchanged for the coming year. Bozenmayer said it appeared that one casualty of balancing the budget was the elimination of the contingency fund.
“This leaves the county with no buffer to absorb unexpected requests such as the $283,000 now submitted by the CSA,” he said.
Bozenmayer said he was not suggesting that the CSA appropriation is not needed, but that he is concerned about the county’s financial future.
“I am just concerned that we may again be going back down the road of failing to keep the tax rate adequate to avoid being caught with no ‘rainy day’ fund for unexpected expenses. I do not want to see Patrick County wind up falling down the hole of borrowing money, as in the unfortunate Revenue Anticipation Note days,” he said.
*Heard from Ed Pool about solar energy and the disposal of solar panels.
*Heard from Chris Hughes about the upcoming National Day of Prayer that will be held locally at noon on May 4, with prayer at the steps of the Patrick County Courthouse.
*Heard from Jamie Clark about solar energy and Emergency Management Services (EMS) needs.
*Heard from Crystal Harris about complaints that include, to her understanding, cutting the EMS budget.
Harris, a former supervisor, said she’s concerned about what could happen if the county cuts the second truck.
“Listen to the scanner, you’re going to hear three or four calls at a time. Station 8 can’t take care of all of them. I understand that some of you have the ear of one of them, and he says he can run all of the calls,” she said.
Harris said JEB Stuart Rescue Squad is a hard-billing, and she has issues with that.
“When that was voted in here in the county, we was adamant that the elderly people that suffer would not be charged, it was soft-billing. I don’t care what way you look at it, hard-billing is hard-billing, you’re going to have to pay,” she said.
Harris said the people who can’t pay will be the ones that will do without their medicine or food to try and pay the hard-billing bill.
*Heard from Kimberly Martin about the volunteer agreement with rescue squads.
*Approved the March 13, March 27, and March 29 meeting minutes.
*Approved the bills, claims, and appropriations.
*Approved the school bus surveillance ordinance.
*Approved a resolution honoring Wayne Kirkpatrick for his service with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA).
*Approved proclaiming the week of April 23 to April 29 National Library Week.
*Ratified the resolution for the Veterans’ Honor Guard.
*Approved the required funds for the match for the CSA.
*Heard the interim county administrator’s report.
*Heard reports from the supervisors.
*Approved allowing Patrick County fireworks coordinator Chris Corbett to order fireworks for displays.
*Discussed the performance agreements with Ten Oaks, LLC, and Prolam USA.
*Nominated Crystal Barker for the Community Policy & Management Team (CPMT) committee.
*Approved the municipal materials management agreement with Republic Services from North Carolina.
*Approved a bonus for Assistant County Administrator and Human Resources Director Donna Shough for acting as the county administrator from March 1 to April 6. The bonus is for the amount difference between her salary and the previous administrator’s salary.
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