vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Sunday library hours still being debated

This week, the Board of Supervisors has been discussing a few lingering items as they work to balance the fiscal 2013 budget. That work has been done in a spreadsheet showing ups — such as higher than expected sales tax, and downs — a possible decrease in the proposed tax rate. Last night, supervisors decided to delay adopting a budget and tax rate until the state comes to a decision.

Here are the budget items from that spreadsheet that are still up in the air:

  • $357,000 from state recordation funds to schools, out of transportation
  • $413,000 for 2.5% increase to county employees on Jan. 1, 2013 - proposed budget calls for 1% raise on April 1
  • $195,000 for four full-time shift supervisory positions in the emergency communications center (1 position = $48,700)
  • $69,033 for two part-time positions in the commonwealth’s attorney office (1 position – $35,517)
  • $80,000 for a construction finance manager position (from Capital Projects fund)
  • $200,000 increase to the Economic Development Authority
  • $100,000 to augment parks part-time hours
  • $100,000 to restore Sunday hours at the two libraries
  • +$500,000 as revenue for contingency reserve, from unspent FY12 contingency.

No other specific line items have been discussed from the county administrator’s proposed budget. A decision has not been made whether to adopt a $1.08 real estate tax rate, or cut it. Cuts can be made by fractions of a penny, supervisors were told. “I’ve been hearing ‘expenditures,’ I haven’t been hearing ‘savings’,” Cord Sterling said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Several supervisors have voiced support of increasing funds to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, which has two branches in Stafford. “For a relatively small cost, citizens can have an immediate benefit,” Bob Thomas said about restoring Sunday hours.

What are your thoughts on these budget items? What do you think about the county’s tax rate?