County budget keeps funding flat for outside agencies

WOODSTOCK – Nonprofits might see little to no extra money from Shenandoah County in next year’s budget.

The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors this week heard from various nonprofit organizations and outside agencies whose representatives made pitches for local funding in the county fiscal 2018 budget. Agencies serve population groups such as senior citizens, low-income residents, people with mental illnesses and physical or mental disabilities and the homeless. The county also includes environmental groups and agricultural education organizations among the outside agencies.

More than a dozen agencies asked for almost $890,000 from Shenandoah County – an increase of $120,829 or 15.37 percent over their total allocations of $769,089 in the current budget.

County Administrator Mary T. Price’s proposed budget recommends $794,831 – an increase of $25,742 or 3.35 percent over the current allocations. Outside agencies spent $765,823 in fiscal 2014, $785,001 in fiscal 2015 and $786,225 in fiscal 2016.

Most agencies asked for increases in local funding from the county, while  Price’s proposed budget does not include funding increases for most of them. Rather, Price has recommended the county keep funding level for most agencies.

The Lord Fairfax Health Care District, referred to as the health department, would receive the highest amount of local funding in the budget. The county has no say in how much local money must go to the agency.

Price recommends the board fully fund Northwestern Community Services’ request of $264,711, which represents a 10-percent increase over the county’s allocation in the current budget.

The proposed budget includes funding for the following agencies:
• $13,665 to the Lord Fairfax Emergency Medical Services Council.
• $322,998 to the Lord Fairfax Health District.
• $264,711 to Northwestern Community Services.
• $1,000 to Concern Hotline ($1,000 less than requested).
• $68,000 to the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging ($15,000 less than requested).
• $15,000 to the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter ($5,000 less than requested).
• $10,000 to Response Inc. ($30,000 less than requested).
• $1,000 to Access Independence ($200 less than requested).
• $1,000 to Blue Ridge Legal Services ($3,887 less than requested).
• $30,000 to the Shenandoah Community Health Clinic ($2,000 less than requested).
• $5,000 to the Shenandoah Dental Clinic ($27,000 less than requested).
• $44,957 to the Lord Fairfax Community College.
• $5,000 to the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival ($5,000 less than requested).
• $1,500 to the Northern Virginia 4-H Center ($5,000 less than requested).
• $2,000 to the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River ($1,000 less than requested).

Price recommended not funding the $5,000 request from the Friends of the Shenandoah River. The county has not funded the group in the past several budgets.

Supervisors plan to consider at its budget work session on Tuesday the tax rates the county advertises for the required public hearing scheduled for April 6.

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