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Culpeper hears pleas for funds

From the Hospice of Rapidan to Culpeper Felines and Friends, they all came Tuesday to ask for a piece of the pie.

Twenty-six outside agencies appeared before the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors to state their cases for a slice of the fiscal 2015 budget.

During the first of three work sessions, most who walked up to the podium seemed to understand that the pre-recession gravy train still hasn’t been repaired and that money remains in short supply.

Understanding that the supervisors have already expressed a strong desire not to raise taxes next year, almost all those who have received money in the past sought nothing more than level funding.

Even Ann Kloeckner of Rappahannock Legal Services asked for no more than the $1,000 contribution legal services is getting this year, although she told the supervisors that most of the multi-jurisdictional agency’s clients come from Culpeper County.

“The poor keep on getting poorer,” Kloeckner said, noting that her agency assisted indigent or near-indigent clients in collecting more than $1 million in civil benefits last year.

In conclusion, she added that legal services seeks “justice for all—not just those who can afford it.”

Prior to the work session, the Board of Supervisors took a look at the Culpeper Human Services’ proposed $9.4 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“We’re asking for the same as last year,” said Director Lisa Peacock. “We are seeking no staff increases. In fact, we continue to reduce our workforce. Some of those retiring are not being replaced.”

But both Peacock and Chris Miller, who heads a group called Aging Together, stressed that new Medicaid rules under the Affordable Care Act could have profound financial effects in the future.

Most county agencies will bring their wish lists to the table in an all-day work session Thursday. The School Board will bring its budget to the supervisors March 18.

Donnie Johnston:

djohnston@freelancestar.com

 

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