Highland Supervisors Hold Public Meeting On Final Budget Numbers
Monterey, VA – On Monday evening the Highland County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting in the Courthouse for a public hearing on amending the fiscal year 2010 budget. Since several categories of revenue cannot be predicted precisely at the beginning of the budget year, the Board typically has a close out meeting in late June when these revenues are known so they can revise the budget. This year just over $107,000 dollars in unbudgeted additional revenue was received by the county.
The largest amounts of additional revenue came in the form of property taxes with just over $31,000 and the miscellaneous revenue category at $21,600. Most of the miscellaneous revenue was an anonymous donation in support of the Monterey pool. On the expenditure side, the county general fund category spent about $33,000 less than budgeted, due to the decreases in funding to county constitutional offices caused by state government cuts.
The school spent about $140,000 more than originally budgeted. Most of the school increase was due to purchase of a new bus, while the rest was the result of pass through funds received by the school for special education and the fruit and vegetable program. The county expects to have a small budget surplus at the end of the current fiscal year.
There were no public comments on the budget amendments and the Board voted unanimously to approve the amendments for fiscal year 2010.
In other business, the Board discussed a resolution regarding the Virginia Retirement System. The resolution directs that employee contributions to the VRS after July 1 will be pre-tax dollars. This will result in a reduction in taxable income for most county employees. The resolution was approved by the Board.
The department of Social services requested that Jim White be appointed to the Social Services Board for a second 4 year term. That appointment was approved by the Board.
There is concern about funding for the new access road to the Monterey Pool. Currently traffic must travel around the back of the school building negotiating a 90 degree blind corner to get to the pool parking lot. The county is looking to eventually build an access road from Route 220 to the pool.
State cuts to the county’s road construction budget have delayed starting work on that road. Supervisor Sullenberger is pushing Virginia Department of Transportation officials to keep money in the county road budget to start on that access road.
Supervisor Rexrode met with VDOT officials regarding route 612 where it crosses the Bullpasture River near Clover Creek. VDOT is proposing to use blocks of concrete cabled together and laid in the river bed to form a more stable crossing. Since Highland county has no road construction funds in the current VDOT budget, they are looking to make this a maintenance project so those funds can be used.
New signs have been put up in parking areas at the Williamsville Gorge reminding visitors that no swimming is allowed. The rope swing has been removed. This property is administered by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Supervisors Sullenberger and Rexrode feel that the time may be right for the county to look at providing some funding for facilities there for tourists and campers. They would like to get another meeting with Game officials to start discussions on that matter.