A request for nine new staff for the sheriff’s office stands out on the wish list presented to the Louisa County Board of Supervisors for the budget year that starts in July.
Sheriff Ashland Fortune hopes to hire two new patrol deputies, two court officers, four dispatchers and one administrative person to strengthen response times to emergency calls and ease the burden on existing personnel.
The supervisors got their first glimpse of the sheriff’s budget request, and those of other county-funded agencies, at their Jan. 2 meeting. Over the next three months, the board will winnow down the budget numbers, with a public hearing on next year’s finances and tax rate scheduled for early April.
Wanda Colvin, the county’s finance director, said she does not anticipate the need for any tax rate increases this year. Supervisor Toni Williams (Jackson district) made a call for the board to hold the real estate tax rate at its current level not just this year, but into the future. It is currently 72 cents per $100 of property value.
“That’s going to take some resolve from the board and the school board for a long period of time,” he said.
Williams said the county needs to be aggressive about saving money toward large capital projects it expects to need in the next 10 to 20 years, without incurring new debt.
In response, Supervisor Fitzgerald Barnes (Patrick Henry district) referenced the James River Water Project as an example of a major investment that would have been difficult to make if the county had not borrowed money.
To read the entire story, see the Jan. 11 edition of The Central Virginian.