By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Thursday expressed a willingness to add $1.8 million to the county schools' allocation in fiscal 2013.
The supervisors are expected to vote on the proposed $53.4 million county budget at their regular meeting Tuesday morning. County Administrator Doug Walker proposed a $54.2 million budget -- 11 percent more than this year's -- earlier this year.
Walker's proposal came with an 8-cent real estate tax increase. The supervisors instead approved a 4-cent hike.
Even with the tax increase, the supervisors are left with a budget gap of $637,558.
Walker said Thursday county staff had identified three capital-improvements plan items that the supervisors could consider not funding to make up the difference. These were a $650,000 replacement compactor for the landfill, not replacing several sheriff's office vehicles and other equipment to save $65,776, and not replacing a parks and recreation vehicle for a savings of $17,175.
The total savings from eliminating those items from the budget was $732,951.
"Every meeting that I've been in, the compactor has been the sacred cow," District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson said.
It kept coming to the top of the CIP priorities, he said, and he asked Walker why he selected it for deferral.
Walker said it was because of the challenge of trying to close the budget gap. He said the possibility of getting by one more year without a replacement compactor was discussed.
"[It has] been impressed upon me the need for the compactor, more so than doing some of the other items right now," Ferguson said.
District 5 Supervisor Dennis Morris recommended taking the $637,558 from the county's fund balance, and then during the next few weeks making decisions on CIP items.
District 4 Supervisor Sharon Baroncelli wasn't in attendance.