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Appomattox approves $41.9 million budget

Appomattox approves $41.9 million budget

Only $3 for 13 weeks

APPOMATTOX — At its Thursday night meeting, the Appomattox County Board of Supervisors approved a $41.9 million fiscal year 2021 budget.

With unanimous approval, the budget contains no tax increases, and includes a two-cent drop in the real estate tax to equalize the rate after a reassessment this year. The real estate tax rate now is .63 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Like most surrounding localities, COVID-19 waylaid a majority of anticipated salary increases, however the budget does contain a 5% raise for all Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office deputies making less than $40,000 annually.

These salaries currently range from $34,118 to $39,698. The proposed raises will cost the county about $30,000 and affect 14 deputies.

County Administrator Susan Adams said the board plans to reevaluate county revenues in December and possibly offer salary increases to the other county deputies, as well.

While most departments received level funding, supervisors voted to fund only the state required local match for county schools at about $5.56 million, a reduction of almost $400,000, rather than the roughly $5.96 million allocated last year.

Adams said though local funding is less this year, the school’s overall budget increased by almost $951,000, much of that because of a revenue increase from the state.

While much uncertainty surrounds the ultimate effect of COVID-19 — which forced the closures of many small businesses and stifled local economies — Adams said the county is not seeing a tremendous increase or decrease in revenue, and is relatively stable, at this time. More clarity will come in future months.

In order to make the budget more adaptable, and alleviate issues in the case of significantly impacted revenue, supervisors unanimously voted to appropriate the money for the budget quarterly, rather than all at once.

The board will meet again in September to appropriate the next 25%.

Adams said this allows staff to get a better handle on what is “coming from the state.”

“It’s an unusual circumstance for unusual times,” said Appomattox River District Supervisor William Hogan. “But we anticipate full appropriation of the entire budget, and we’re hopefully going to get that raise in there by the middle of the year for our county employees.”

Also at its Thursday meeting, supervisors approved a letter of intent for the Appomattox Volunteer Fire Department, ensuring the board will financially support them in the future as they seek to purchase a new fire truck for the department.

The county currently funds the Pamplin and Appomattox volunteer fire departments on a five year rotation — with one department being allotted $50,000 annually for five years, before it switches to the other.

Currently in the second year of the Pamplin rotation, Adams said the letter of intent ensures the bank that when the Appomattox fire department is back in rotation, it will receive $250,000 from the county across the five years.

The board will next meet on July 20.

Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556.

Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556. 

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