York Supervisors Approve 2016 Budget, Give County Employees 2.5 Percent Raise

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The York County Board of Supervisors at their May 5 work session. (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)
The York County Board of Supervisors at their May 5 work session. (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)

The York County Board of Supervisors approved a $133.4 million budget Tuesday, keeping the tax rate at the same rate as last year and giving county employees a pay raise.

Each of the 707 county employees will receive a 2.5 percent pay raise during the fiscal year, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2016.

Originally, a 2 percent pay raise was proposed in Interim County Administrator Mark Carter’s proposed budget, but Carter said reductions in the amount the county contributes to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail each year, reductions in personnel costs and funds shifted from the county’s Capital Improvements Program— a 10-year plan for infrastructure, maintenance and repair projects — allowed the supervisors to move funds around and increase the pay raise by half a percent.

The $133.4 million budget was adopted without a tax rate increase and with $950,000 in new revenue — $361,000 of which is going to the York County School Division.

The school division received a total of $51,275,444 from the county, a nearly $700,000 difference than what Superintendent Victor Shandor requested for his three priorities: transportation upgrades, technology updates and employee compensation.

The $361,000 in new revenue will cover Shandor’s request for pay increases, and Carter said the other two priorities would likely be covered by one-time expenditure funds and end-of-year funds from the current budget.

In addition, the county agreed to fully fund the school division’s CIP, which includes a fourth elementary school in the Magruder and Yorktown zones with a price tag of $23 million expected to be funded in fiscal year 2017.

Supervisor Walt Zaremba compared York’s budget to that of James City County’s recently adopted $186.9 million budget, explaining the two counties were often comparable due to similar demographics, such as population and geographic size.

“It reinforces the frugality and the smart decision-making on the part of the policies that come out of here,” Zaremba said.

The proposed budget was met with little input by the citizens during the last five months the supervisors discussed the budget at meetings and work sessions, with four citizens speaking during the two public hearings held for budget discussions. In addition, the county received three comments via email or letter concerning the budget.

Comparatively, last year’s budget was met with criticism by citizens and teachers, who wanted supervisors to raise taxes in order to fully fund the school division’s $52.9 million request. The Board of Supervisors passed the 2015 budget with a $2 million shortfall in funding for the schools.

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