Public hearing on FY2011 budget set for March 24

County staffers detailed proposed budget cuts in various departments last week in preparation for the March 24 public hearing on the proposed spending plan. The county’s $700.4 million proposed general fund budget for next year is nearly $15 million lower than the fiscal 2010 level, according to information from the county. On top of a roughly $30 million revenue shortfall projected for next year, the county and schools will have to absorb about $6 million in rising expenses.

Using the school system’s savings of $12 million from prior years brings the net reduction in the county’s transfer to the school system to about $6.5 million. Though the county’s operating budget is dropping only $8.3 million, an additional $6 million in cuts must be made to offset rising expenses, according to information from the county.

POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Chesterfield County Police Department’s budget target for fiscal 2011 is about $1.6 million lower than last year’s, according to a recent presentation on the spending plan.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut $376,800 through operational efficiencies
  • Cut $274,000 by eliminating four patrol officer jobs
  • Cut $194,800 by eliminating three civilian and three part-time jobs
  • Cut $45,100 by reducing the part-time patrol officer program
  • Cut $621,000 by deferring the replacement of 28 patrol and detective vehicles
  • Cut $109,000 through other operating reductions

FIRE AND EMS DEPARTMENT
Chesterfield County Fire and EMS has proposed about $1.32 million in budget cuts, including $642,100 in operating reductions, for fiscal 2011, according to a recent presentation. The department will also absorb $500,000 in unfunded expenses.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut $224,000 by eliminating four uniformed positions
  • Cut $56,000 by eliminating one civilian position
  • Cut $326,800 through minimum staffing
  • Cut $35,300 by centralizing copier funding
  • Cut $676,100 by reducing funding for emergency vehicle replacement

LIBRARIES
In fiscal 2011, $1.5 million in budget reductions are proposed for Chesterfield County’s Public Libraries.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut $1.3 million by reducing library hours at all branches the equivalent of one day; the department has recommended closing all libraries on Thursday. This includes eliminating about 32 FTEs, including 11 part-time positions.
  • Cut $200,000 by reducing the number of new library materials purchased.

PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
About $1.9 million in budget cuts are proposed for the Parks and Recreation Department in fiscal 2011.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut $361,000 by eliminating adult athletic programs. This includes eliminating five full-time and four part-time jobs; eliminating program and maintenance support for adult leagues for basketball, volleyball, flag football and softball programs; closing facilities at Warbro Athletic Complex, Bird Athletic Complex, Daniel Athletic Comples and Lowe’s Soccer Complex. About $168,000 in revenue will be lost, as well.
  • Cut $250,000 by eliminating half of senior and adult education programs. This includes eliminating one full-time and two part-time jobs and discontinuing all adult instructional programs except those at community centers. About $32,000 in revenue will be lost, as well.
  • Cut $446,300 by eliminating historical programs. This includes eliminating five full-time and three part-time positions; closing facilities and providing minimum maintenance at the following: Eppington, Falling Creek, Civil War sites, County Museum, Castlewood, Magnolia Grange and the County Jail; and eliminating programs and support for the Heritage Alliance partnering organizations. About $14,200 in revenue will be lost, as well.
  • Cut $503,500 by eliminating outdoor adventure/nature programs. This includes eliminating seven full-time and three part-time positions; closing Rockwood Nature Center and Challenge Course; eliminating all boating, hiking, outdoor/conservation education and skills development program and classes. About $139,500 in revenue will also be lost.
  • Cut $60,000 by reducing maintenance staffing. This includes eliminating one full-time safety officer position.
  • Cut $303,300 by reducing school maintenance.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES
About $1 million in budget cuts are proposed for the Mental Health Support Services department.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut $326,100 by reducing direct services.
  • Cut $99,300 by reducing consumer and family support.
  • Cut $200,700 by reducing staffing.
  • Cut $342,900 by increasing organizational efficiency
  • Cut $4,700 by reducing staff development and recognition.
  • Cut $69,500 by reducing equipment, supplies and operations.
  • Other proposed Human Services
  • reductions:
  • Cut $56,400 by eliminating the Limited English Speaking Program, including one full-time job.
  • Cut $221,900 by reducing services at Adult Drug Court. This includes eliminating one full-time clinician.
  • Cut $180,000 by reducing services at Juvenile Drug Court. This includes eliminating one treatment clinician, all training and education dollars and all funds for psychiatric/psychological evaluations and services.
  • Cut $250,000 by reduced services in Social Services operations.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The county’s Community Development division has proposed a fiscal 2011 general fund budget of $16,856,100, which is down about $631,800 from last year. The budget includes $714,700 in cuts and the absorption of nearly $83,000 in increased expenses.

Proposed reductions:

  • Cut 11 full-time and two part-time jobs from the Building Inspections Department.
  • Reduce marketing activities and spending on business community events in the Economic Development Department.
  • Cut three part-time jobs in the Environmental Engineering Department, and stop publishing the Swift Creek Report.
  • Cut 11 full-time and two part-time positions in the Planning Department.
  • Reduce funds for consultant services, which are typically used for special projects, in the Transportation Department.
  • Cut 19 positions in the Utilities Department.

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