Excluding schools, New Kent proposed budget comes in at $35.2 million
New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway presented his proposed budget for county operations at Monday night’s board of supervisors meeting.
Hathaway proposed a budget of $35,254,133 for county operations for the 2019-20 fiscal year. That amount excludes the school’s budget due to the local schools transitioning into a new financial system. Hathaway said that the school’s proposal was expected at their meeting that was being conducted simultaneously with the board of supervisors.
The $35.2 million budget brings an expectation of an increased revenue of the general fund in the amount of $1,686,212. Of that new revenue, $1,067,507 is expected from real estate taxes. The real estate tax is expected to remain at 82 cents per $100 of assessed values in the upcoming year, meaning there is no increase in the rate.
According to state law, all budgets must be balanced, and Hathaway presented county leaders a list of expenditures for the new revenue. He proposed an employee cost of living increase of five percent effective July 1 at a cost of $509,268. Along with the raise, Hathaway recommended new positions with the addition of four firefighters ($68,239 each), a new deputy for the sheriff’s department ($69,058), a DSS program coordinator ($14,687), and upgrading a part-time custodian to a full-time position ($18,629). Other items that the new revenue would be spent on include a per diem increase for the confinement of inmates ($269,000), a transfer to the school operating fund ($200,000), an expected increase of health insurance by 8.5 percent while reducing employee costs at the rate of five percent ($171,270), additional funds in the school set aside ($99,515), and a health and safety position in the fire department ($62,916).
Hathaway has also pegged a Capital Improvement Plan of $2,494,862 for the future business year. Among the top projects on the list include the replacement of four school buses ($400,828), seven sheriff’s vehicles ($396,000), informational technology projects ($240,000), and school generators at New Kent Elementary and New Kent Middle School ($210,000).
The public utility fund, which is self-sustaining and paid by the uses, will work with a proposed budget of $9,328,441. The increase of $3,469,405 from the current’s year budget is due to additional capital projects. Capital Improvement Plan projects total $4,685,900 for this year, with approximately $3,763,000 going to water systems interconnections.
There are no increases in the water and sewer rate, along with no increase in the connection and availability fees. There is also no increase in the Bottoms Bridge services district tax rate.
Hathaway commented that New Kent’s continuing growth is contributing to both the increased revenue and expenditure of services. As with most presentations of the proposed budget, county supervisors elected to reserve comments for the annual budget retreat. The retreat is scheduled for this Friday, Feb. 15, 9 a.m., at the Providence Forge Recreation Center.