Huge cost increases in services to troubled youth (CSA), emergency services, and the expenses of the Central Virginia Regional Jail are “absolutely eating up every other [funding] opportunity and possibility that’s out there,” Nichols said.

By law supervisors have no choice about paying the CSA bill, however high it climbs.  And rescue services in Fluvanna County are in such dangerous straits that a second paid crew has been deemed a necessity.  “We’re going toward a paid staff and we might as well admit it,” Chairperson Mozell Booker said when discussing the lack of rescue volunteers in the county.  “We need to continue to try [to recruit volunteers] but I think the reality is settling in.”

The bill to run the jail isn’t optional, either – and right now it’s looking like the county will owe an extra $1 million yearly on top of its current contributions.  The increase would be phased in over two years, though Nichols stated that he doesn’t have confidence in the accuracy of the numbers he’s heard.  “I can’t overstate how big an impact [the increase] can have on our budget if it stays exactly like the request is,” he said.

“Those three things are the things driving your budget next year,” Nichols informed the Board.  “Forget the fact that you want to fund infrastructure.  We’ve been planning for that.  But what wasn’t planned for was a very large increase in CSA, a very large increase in emergency services, and an incredibly large increase in correction and detention.”

Starting this year the finance department will begin giving the Board a five-year revenue and expenditure forecast complete with any anticipated bumps and dips.  The so-called “budget year plus four” will become a standard part of the annual budget process, Nichols said.

Supervisors re-elected Booker as chair of the Board and re-elected Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch as vice chair.  Booker also received a commendation from the Virginia Association of Counties thanking her for her dedication to their organization and her many contributions to Fluvanna County.

After her re-election Booker asked supervisors to begin reporting to closed session meetings within five minutes after the adjournment of regular sessions, despite the fact that some supervisors had “personal business” to attend to.

Other supervisors began teasing Ullenbruch, a smoker, about the five minutes.  “As soon as they legalize marijuana, I’m going to need 15,” Ullenbruch responded.

“Is that a higher form of government?” Nichols asked.

Five minutes after adjournment not all supervisors had reported to closed session.

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