Budget Battle Continues at Fluvanna Supervisors Meeting
Wednesday night tempers flared in Fluvanna County. Hundreds of people sounded off at a meeting about the state of the county's finances.
The board of supervisors voted to give an $650,000 to schools Wednesday night. This is the bare minimum amount of additional funding needed to open the new high school this fall.
The public comment started around 8 p.m. and 71 people signed up to speak. Many urged supervisors to raise the agreed upon tax rate to fund schools.
Earlier Wednesday night before the meeting, a fairly large crowd came out for a pre-board meeting rally. That rally quickly turned into a fairly heated question and answer session between Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shaun Kenney and dozens of upset taxpayers.
Despite what the school board decided last week, Kenney tells NBC29 he expects the new high school to open on time. "It's our expectation and I think it's the public's expectation at home at this point, that the high school is going to open on time and I'm confident that's going to be the case," he said. "I think I trust the school board will make the right decision in that regard, and I look forward to being able to open it in September."
Last week, the school board voted not to open the high school on time - facing a $1.5 million shortfall. New money that could be allocated Wednesday evening could help close some of that gap.
But by law supervisors cannot dictate how the school board spends its money, and some board members have expressed concerns about opening the new building while being forced to cut other programs.
The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors also voted to provide JAUNT - the regional transportation system - and the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) both with $65,000 in funding. JAUNT had been eliminated completely.
The NBC29 newsroom received the following press release from JAUNT Executive Director Donna Shaunesey on 05/17/12:
I want to thank Fluvanna community members and the Board of Supervisors for their support of JAUNT last night. It really made a difference. Although we are grateful for the $65,000 it fell short of the $107,118 that we requested. Unfortunately, this will mean that we will have to reduce service in Fluvanna starting July 1st. We will dig deep and try to keep the transportation that is most beneficial to our current passengers and to the citizens of Fluvanna.
Budget Battle Continues at Fluvanna Supervisors MeetingMore>>
Derick Waller joined the NBC 29 news team in August, 2010. Prior to this, Derick graduated with degrees in both broadcast journalism and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story