Greene County Leaders Prepare for $6M Budget Deficit
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Greene County leaders are working to balance out priorities for the county's spending next year.
But after a work session on Tuesday, March 5, county administrators are left with more questions than answers.
Greene County supervisors got their first look at the county's projected budget next year and are now preparing for a potential deficit of over $6 million.
“We compared requests from all the different departments and the transfers to the schools and social services, and we're short revenues compared to expenses by that $6.8 million figure,” Brenda Garton, the interim county administrator, said.
Various department leaders made their cases for their budget requests at the meeting Tuesday night.
Right now, county schools are hoping to give teachers an increase in salary next year.
“Greene County Schools is our largest employer,” Garton said. “We want to offer a competitive wage, which 5 percent would help us do."
The Greene County Sheriff's Office is also asking for funding for more full-time deputies.
Sheriff Steve Smith says they are currently short deputies 78 percent of the time.
"We're surrounded by three of the largest counties in the state - Rockingham, Albemarle, and Augusta - we're answering more calls than Rockingham, Fluvanna, and Louisa," Smith said.
Stephanie Deal, the county treasurer, hasn't hired a new employee since 2012 and is asking for one new full-time position to help finish several projects in the county.
“I know you've been given some terrible news and I know it’s a tough financial situation that we're in right now, but it’s almost a situation where you need to give me this position so I can try to help," Deal said.
Greene County leaders say they’re happy to see the growth of the county, but now it’s time to provide the proper funds to support that growth.
“Growth is not a bad thing, but we must have the funding and resources to support the growth and provide the services that are expected and needed for our citizens," Smith said.
Garton is expected to present a recommended balanced budget to the board of supervisors at its next meeting on Tuesday, March 12, and supervisors will vote on the final county budget on May 14.