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Stafford Board of Supervisors will take up the fiscal 2013 budget again Tuesday
Date published: 4/29/2012
Stafford County supervisors will consider three versions of the fiscal 2012-13 budget at Tuesday's meeting.
They hope to come to agreement to adopt both the budget and the 2012 tax rate, two weeks later than planned.
The three members of the finance, audit and budget committee couldn't compromise on a version to send to the full Board of Supervisors for discussion.
"We're really not that far off here," Board Chairman Susan Stimpson said at the Thursday night committee meeting.
The board delayed adopting a budget and tax rate at the April 17 meeting, citing unknowns in local funding in the state budget, which was approved the following day.
Supervisors Stimpson, Cord Sterling and Bob Thomas debated a handful of line items in County Administrator Anthony Romanello's proposed $246 million budget, along with other requests that have come up since early March.
Many of the issues concerned what the board has set as its priorities: education, public safety and economic development.
A handful of positions within the public safety category were discussed.
The proposed budget includes funds for three additional full-time deputies for court security. The public safety committee also recommended adding four full-time supervisory positions within the emergency communications center.
Sterling hoped that with the May departure of Fire Chief Rob Brown, the county would see savings by appointing an assistant chief to fill the role on an interim basis.
Sterling also suggested cutting the funding to partner agencies, which include both regional entities and nonprofit community groups.
Community agencies, including the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rappahannock Emergency Medical Services Council and Hope House, would see a $56,000 decrease, while overall, the funding for other partner agencies would increase by $144,000.
This is accounted for with a $200,000 increase to the county's Economic Development Authority.
"If we're making cuts in other parts of the budget can we really increase partner agencies as a whole by $144,000? I recognize that some of those things go toward what some people have as priorities," Sterling said. "If we're going to increase some of those accounts, then should we be decreasing others?"
The proposed budget also splits the county's real-estate recordation fees between schools and transportation.