At their regular January meeting on Tuesday, January 28th, the Bland County Board of Supervisors began moving forward with budgetary planning for fiscal year 2020-2021 (FY21).
“The County will be going through its annual budget process over the next few months,” stated Adam Kidd, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The Board adopted its budget calendar tonight, but since so much of the budget process is dependent upon the work of the General Assembly, we have to be flexible during that process. We had originally hoped to start the budget process off with a joint meeting with the School Board, but unfortunately, due to some unexpected changes in supervisor work schedules, the date and time did not work out.”
The topic of planning for school facilities and capital improvements was discussed at the meeting. The Board of Supervisors acted Tuesday on a proposal to hire Davenport and Company for financial consultation services and for Davenport to conduct a financial analysis of existing and projected County cash flows, financial policies, service of existing debt, as well as analysis of the affordability and capacity of any future debt associated with capital projects, such as schools. Supervisor Randy Johnson stated that, “It is important that we have a strong understanding of where we are financially as we plan for capital improvement projects. Locally, we have had a couple of very good years financially and the Board of Supervisors have been working to improve the financial stability of the County to where it can be in a better position, like we are in now, to begin to examine capital improvement possibilities.”
Supervisors Karen Hodock and Stephen Kelley continued along with Supervisors Kidd and Johnson in stating, “One of the major goals of the Board of Supervisors, as we move through 2020, is working with the School Board in the development of a plan to address school facility needs. As a county, school facilities have been discussed for several years, and it is time that a thorough plan be developed.” The first step in that process is the development of a strong blueprint on how the county can plan for the anticipated capital costs.
The Board of Supervisors did state that, at this time, no decision has been made on what type of capital school project or an amount that can be designated for such a project. Rather, before the County can plan for any such project, it is necessary to go through the financial analysis process to clarify the impact of any potential capital costs.