Projects cut


“I don’t think that all the dollars for the things that you had planned before are going to be possible in next year’s budget,” County Administrator Steve Nichols told the Board.  “And so I think there’s going to be some hard choices.”

Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch worried about “kicking the can down the road” by delaying or cutting needed projects, such as redoing the HVAC in county buildings.

“Yeah, a lot of these things are,” Nichols replied.

“When we kick that can down the road, that’s going to make that year even worse, maybe worse than this year,” Supervisor Don Weaver said.

“The following year for CIP is a lot worse, and the following year for operational budget is going to be very difficult as well,” Nichols warned.  “When you don’t have enough money to do everything you want, you just prioritize it.”

First on the chopping block were the Pleasant Grove restrooms supervisors hoped to install near the ball fields at a cost of $150,000.  Currently there isn’t enough water at Pleasant Grove to operate those restrooms anyway, and the new ones sitting by the Pleasant Grove House aren’t functional.

A Pleasant Grove picnic shelter also got the ax at $35,000.  Supervisors will likely revisit these projects at another time when there is more money to go around.

An old ambulance rechassis request from Fluvanna Rescue has been sitting funded for years but never acted upon.  Nichols told the Board he didn’t believe Fluvanna Rescue has an ambulance to rechassis at this point.  So supervisors canceled the funds, retaining another $100,000.

Also in the CIP was $600,000 for wireless upgrades to all the schools except the high school.  Supervisors toyed with the idea of staggering the funds over more than one year in order to save dollars in the upcoming budget year.  Josh Gifford, technology director of Fluvanna County Public Schools, said that the full $600,000 would ultimately be needed, though he could work with $400,000 one year and $200,000 the next.  The problem with that scenario, he said, is that supervisors can’t guarantee that the next Board will feel similarly about funding the request, and he could be stuck without the final funds.  Supervisors did not make a decision about how to fund the project.

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