|The Fairfax County Government Center.|
The nearly $4 billion marked-up budget will be formally adopted by the BoS April 28.
|Fairfax County residents urge the Board of Supervisors to provide adequate funding for education, libraries, and other services at a rally at the Fairfax County Government Center April 8.|
Assessments in Annandale rose an average of 5.45 percent in 2015, outstripping the county average of 3.39 percent.
The budget would increase funding for Fairfax County Public Schools by more than $66.7 million over last year, but that’s still about $14 million short of what the school board had requested. School officials maintain additional funding is needed to accommodate enrollment growth and increases in the number of students with special needs.
The budget would restore $120,000 for enforcement of the grass ordinance, which had been an area of concern for community associations concerned about property values. Under that program, county contractors inspect complaints about unmaintained lawns. If homeowners fail to correct the problem, the county mows the grass and bills the owner.
The budget still calls for the closing of the Annandale Adult Day Health Center but would delay the closing by six months. The budget also adds one staff position to the Lincolnia Adult Day Health Center to accommodate all current Annandale clients. The budget also does not reverse proposed funding cuts for the public libraries.
The budget does, however, restore several positions that had been proposed for elimination in the Healthy Families program, the Parent Education/Good-Touch/Bad Touch child abuse prevention program, mental health services in the jail, detox diversion, rent relief program, and weekend fire boat patrols.
Funding to restore those programs comes from $2.7 million in additional state funds that were not included in the advertised budget.
The budget includes 1.1 percent cost-of-living raises, cut from the current cost-of-living rate of 1.68 percent which had been agreed to in labor negotiations last fall. Employees would also receive raises based on merit and longevity averaging 3.6 percent.
Salaries for supervisors will be increased from $75,000 to $95,000 a year. The board chair’s salary will rise to $100,000.
On the revenue side, the budget increases sewer service charges from $6.62 to $6.65 per 1,000 gallons, increases the stormwater services district tax rate from $0.225 to $0.025 of $100 of assessed value, and increases the Tysons Service District tax rate from $0.04 to $0.05 per $100 of assessed value. Fees for the School-Age Child Care program and refuse disposal fees would be increased.
The budget “is not a ‘great news’ package,’” said Board Chair Sharon Bulova, “but I think that it is responsible and responsive to the needs of our community and to the uncertain fiscal climate we are operating in.”
During the next months and years, the county will address its financial challenges through “lines of budget review,” Bulova said. This will involve engaging the community in an evaluation of county programs and services “to ensure that we maintain the quality of life our residents value and rely upon, while making sure taxes are affordable.”