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Two budget work sessions have been rescheduled to late afternoon times: The Tuesday, March 5, Thursday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 12 sessions will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the first floor meeting room of the Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

Fauquier County Administrator Paul McCulla proposed a $313.3 million budget for fiscal year 2020 that funds additional fire and rescue staff but comes about $1.4 million short of fully funding Superintendent David Jeck’s request for Fauquier County schools.

McCulla included an extra $1 million in excess of the $2.1 million in additional funding the county planned to give to the school division for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Jeck had asked the county for an additional $2.36 million -- for a total increase of about $4.5 million over the current year -- to help fund planned pay raises for county teachers and staff as well as other needs.

Under the proposed budget, the school division would receive 58.94 cents of every dollar -- the largest share of funding -- followed by public safety, which would receive 19.25 cents of every dollar.

The county budget is far from finalized. The proposal McCulla released Wednesday is only the initial step in the process. The supervisors will now review the spending plan over the coming weeks before voting on a final version in March.

The supervisors will conduct their first public discussion about the budget at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5.

McCulla’s budget proposes a 1.2 cent increase in the overall real estate tax rate that would increase the average homeowner’s tax bill by $45 yearly.

The proposal funds an additional six full-time fire and rescue technicians and three full-time captains. That boost in staffing would expand coverage at fire stations to 12 hours daily and add a second command officer for major or multiple incidents. 

The sheriff’s office would receive funds to hire an additional crime analyst. 

The county would add an information security analyst to guard against hacking and a full-time adult family services worker.

A shift of $400,000 would fund 12 full-time school security officers employed by the school division.

The school division would get $3.3 million more than had been projected when the board last year approved a 2019 budget and draft 2020 budget, primarily due to increased state revenue. Of that, $2.1 million will cover pay increases and higher health insurance costs.

County employees would see a 2 percent pay increase, which includes a .4 percent cost of living adjustment and a .6 percent merit increase.

The $313.3 million total budget figure includes $64.5 million in capital improvement funding for fiscal years 2020 through 2024 with an additional $195.6 million designated for future fiscal years. 

Spending over the next five years includes $12 million for broadband development, $40.8 million for school projects and $200,000 for enhancements at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.

The county supervisors plan to hold the following public sessions to discuss the budget leading up to a March 21 meeting to approve the operating and capital improvement budgets and set the tax rate.

  • Tuesday, March 5, 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 12, 4:30 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m. public hearing, Fauquier High School auditorium
  • Thursday, March 14, 4 p.m. joint work session with school board
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2 p.m. markup/mark down session.

With the exception of the Tuesday, March 12 public hearing at Fauquier High School, scheduled for 7 p.m., the other sessions will be held in the first-floor meeting room Warren Green building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton. 

The March 21 meeting to adopt the budgets and tax rate will be held at 4 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of the Warren Green building.

The county administrator’s budget can be viewed in its entirety on the county government website, fauquiercounty.gov.

Reach James Ivancic at jivancic@fauquier.com.

(2) comments

truepat

You can't keep taxing the property owners!!! Perhaps it's time for a change in leadership

AmericaFirst

Amen, brother. Its out of control

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