Amherst County supervisors reviewed a list of supplemental funding requests for consideration in the upcoming fiscal year 2019-20 budget during a Feb. 5 workshop.
Supplemental funding includes requests from departments beyond current operational spending built into the budget, according to the county. Ten various line items requested would yield $472,988 in recurring costs in future budgets if approved, according to county documents.
Most of that money is for proposed positions: a network specialist for the information technology department, a deputy clerk’s position in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office due to a criminal caseload increase, two grounds technicians, a maintenance worker and a benefits consultant, as well as making two current positions full time.
The recurring costs list also includes $45,000 requested for a replacement of the county’s email system and $100,000 to provide scholarships for Amherst County High School graduates to attend an institution of higher learning or training.
The goal of the potential scholarship fund is boost academic achievement, according to county documents. The matter was discussed during last year’s budget process among supervisors and was deferred.
The overall list also includes 22 requests totaling $335,287 that fall into a category of one-time costs, if approved, meaning they would not repeat in future budgets.
Some of those line items include:
» $36,000 requested for shredding and restoration of four plat books in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office;
» $15,000 to replace the county maintenance shop’s roof;
» $25,000 for four or more voting machines;
» $26,500 for painting and repair on the first floor of the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society;
» $10,000 in laptops for Amherst County Planning Commission members;
» $4,000 for an emergency services initiative that aims to purchase fitness equipment for each of the county’s three rescue stations for use by paid emergency medical technicians, firefighters and volunteers;
» $30,000 to install windows for the Amherst County Juvenile and Domestic Relations courtroom;
» $15,000 to place banners along U.S. 29 Business and $10,000 to paint the Amherst County logo on the water tower near Lowes in Madison Heights, each aimed at instilling civic pride in Amherst County; and
» $10,000 for a grant program to give businesses on the U.S. 29 Business corridor to remove signs considered legally non-conforming, or grandfathered, signs. Applicants who wish to remove a sign would have an incentive through a $1,000 grant to remove it. Each applicant would be limited to a single grant application.
The board in coming weeks will receive projected figures in the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. An item in the county’s capital improvement plan is $600,000 over a two-year period to replace the county’s software, which Director of Finance Stacey Wilkes said would make financial data more efficient. Chairman Jimmy Ayers said all departments affected by a software upgrade should be brought up to speed on the potential measure.
“It’s usually easier to sell something if everyone who may be using it is educated to the same level, understands its capacities and whether it would be beneficial to them, not to them, before we even consider it here as a board when you speak of that magnitude of money,” Ayers said during last week’s workshop. “It’s a lot of change.”