Warren County to address budget requests

^ Posted 19 hours ago

By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL -- Rising costs to provide services prompted some Warren County departments to ask the government for more money.

The Board of Supervisors heard requests from various county department leaders on Tuesday. Whether or not the departments receive the amounts they seek depends on available revenue. County Administrator Douglas Stanley also will present his proposed fiscal 2014 budget to supervisors later in the process.

Percentages may make the budget requests appear higher than usual.

The request from the Building Inspections Department calls for a 19 percent increase in funding. Much of that increase would come from the purchase of new computer software at $37,174, and to replace a pickup for $7,000 the first year through a lease-to-own program.

The Finance Department requested $368,881 for fiscal 2014 -- a 17.4 percent increase over the current budget of $314,199. The majority of the spending increase would come as a result of the department funding a new position created for the current budget, according to Finance Director Carolyn Stimmel.

The current budget includes $15,150 for an analyst position to cover only part of the fiscal year, Stimmel explained. The compensation budget would increase to $50,000 under her request.

"Most of that increase is totally attributed to that person's salary being for a full year," Stimmel said.

Stimmel said the department has not yet filled the position. The department would need to grade the position to determine the actual salary.

Departments such as finance also are assuming increases in health insurance costs -- Stimmel budgeted 10 percent. However, the county has not received information on the rates for renewing coverage.

The budget for maintenance of buildings and grounds could increase by 18 percent under the current request. High-dollar items include the replacement of or repairs to heating/ventilation/air conditioning equipment. Three new line items make up $75,000 of the requested increase.

Commonwealth's Attorney Brian Madden also has asked for more funds, most of which would go to create an additional assistant prosecutor position. Madden states in documents filed with the request his office's caseload continues to increase and thus requires another employee. Madden also asked for funds to pay for a case management system.

Supervisors also heard a request for a 64.3 percent increase in the streets and highways budget, much of which includes funding for additional labor and theft-resistant road signs.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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