By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors adopted a $52.7 million budget for fiscal year 2013 Tuesday morning.
About 42 percent of that -- $22.3 million -- is going to the public school system.
Going into Tuesday's meeting, the supervisors had a gap of $644,810 to make up for operational costs, plus about $1.3 million for capital improvements.
They closed the gap by $452,249 -- cutting about 19 items from the capital improvements plan, including an emergency repeater for $100,000, two Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office vehicles for $59,782, a planning and zoning department vehicle for $24,362 and a parks and recreation vehicle for $17,175.
Among the items from the capital improvements plan that did make it into the budget are a $650,000 replacement landfill compactor and a part for an elevator at the circuit courthouse for $56,250.
About $1.5 million is coming from the fund balance. That should leave a little more than $8 million in the county's reserves.
After education funding, the next biggest portion of the budget, $11.6 million, is devoted to public safety. This includes the sheriff's office, volunteer fire and rescue agencies, the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, code enforcement and the animal shelter.
More than 10 percent of the upcoming budget -- about $5.5 million -- is for debt service owed by the county. The budget is about 5 percent higher than the current fiscal year's budget, Budget Manager Garland Miller said at the meeting.
All county employees will receive a 6.5 percent raise. However, about 5.7 percent of that will be taken up by their having to pay a portion of their own retirement benefits.
Earlier this year, County Administrator Doug Walker presented a proposed fiscal 2013 budget of $54 million. That included $691,215 for 13 additional fire/EMS employees, which was later reduced to eight new staff.
Walker's initial budget also called for an 8-cent tax increase, but that was later reduced to 4 cents.