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Board OKs school system request for unspent money

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County leaders agreed Tuesday to give the School Board more than $1 million the division didn’t spend last year.

The Board of Supervisors voted to grant a request from Superintendent Mark Johnston to return $1.03 million in unspent appropriations in the fiscal 2017 budget. The total includes $583,571 from the division’s special grants budgets. The School Board requests return of the remaining $447,897 to pay for specific, one-time projects in the division’s fiscal 2019 approved capital improvement plan. Return of the $447,897 would reduce the funding request for the improvement plan. The School Board voted at its Jan. 11 meeting to make the request.

Supervisors considered each amount as a separate request and voted 6-0 to approve both requests. Special grants are considered pass-through funds that come straight from the state or other sources.

Appropriations that the School Board does not spend in a particular budget cycle automatically goes into the county’s unassigned fund balance or savings. The School Board then must submit a request to the supervisors for previously approved funds that the division did not spend.

The supervisors’ actions move the $1.03 million from the unassigned fund balance to the school division. The return of unspent appropriated money to the division for use on one-time capital projects addresses specific capital needs while avoiding reliance on one-time funds to support ongoing operational costs, county officials have said.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:

• Approved a special-use permit requested by George Krilis to operate a sealcoat mixing plant in an existing building at 1067 Industrial Park, Mount Jackson. The applicant must meet all requirements for change of occupancy certification and connections to Mount Jackson’s water and sewer service. County Planning and Zoning staff intend to review the site conditions a year after the issuance of the permit and to send findings to various agencies for comment

• Held a public hearing on a proposal to enter into a one-year lease with Genoa Pharmacy to rent approximately 80 square feet in the Northwestern Community Services suite of the Health and Human Services building, 494 N. Main St., Woodstock, for $150 per month. No one spoke at the hearing.

• Adopted a resolution of support for the creation of a small and rural schools coalition. Superintendent Mark Johnston explained that Shenandoah County Public Schools is part of study Region IV that extends through Fairfax and Arlington counties and Alexandria. There are 80 divisions across the state defined as small or rural, Johnston said. There is no cost to join, he added. More than 70 school divisions have expressed support for the coalition. The impetus for the group arises from concerns about funding for public education. Rural and small school divisions have seen funding from local sources increase and a corresponding drop in state funding. Small and rural divisions show higher rates of poverty and eligibility of students that qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

• Adopted a resolution to include fire and emergency medical services volunteers in the county to be covered by workers compensation through VACORP

• Appointed Frances Bowman and Nancy Barnett to the Social Services Board; Joe Lehnen to the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission; and Katie Freakley to the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan

• Met in closed session to discuss potential appointments to the Lord Fairfax Community College Board, the Citizen Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan and the Agriculture and Forestal Advisory Committee

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