City and County Waiting to Finalize Budgets

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

March 27, 2006

When lawmakers in Richmond can't decide on a budget, state localities have a hard time balancing their own budgets, wondering how much money they will get from the state. As the general assembly continues to agree on a state budget in Richmond, locally many are wondering if they will have to make any major changes to their budgets.

“With the hold up of the current budget, it could be affected one way or the other we just don't know until there's a final approval," said Charlottesville spokesperson, Rick Barrick.

Statements like this are being repeated by several boards and committees in our area. They really can't say what going to happen with budgets until a decision is made in Richmond.

Barrick explained, “a lot of what we have in our current budget relies on state funding. So we have particular amounts in the budget that are assumptions made on what we've gotten in the past and what we've asked for.”

Barrick also adds that the city isn't expecting to have any major difficulties, but they could run into some possible problems with transportation funding.

"Will it affect how we do the budget? Probably not. Will it affect what roads we can or will build? It might," explained Barrick.

A possible lack in funding could effect what roads are built, but will probably not effect how the budget is balanced.

Board members in Albemarle County are also waiting on a decision. School board chairman, Sue Friedman says if certain amounts aren't allocated they have a few options.

They could find fund elsewhere, or "a second one, and one that we're familiar with, unfortunately, is to do some reallocations. To look at decreasing funding amounts, perhaps cutting programs, those types of things," explained Friedman.

This possibility Friedman explains will not affect teachers pay. “Our board of supervisors has joined us in that commitment to make sure that our salaries for teachers in particular, but also classified staff and administrators, maintain their market competitiveness," she said.

Most boards and committees said that adjusting the budget is normal after each respective Board of Supervisors balances their budget.

The city of Charlottesville plans to make a final decision on their budget at a special session on April 11.

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