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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Supervisors OK budget
Also set new tax rates

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Henry County Board of Supervisors adopted the school division and county’s 2013-14 fiscal year budget Tuesday, set tax rates and took other action as required for the spending plan that will take effect July 1.

The supervisors also approved setting tax rates of 48.8 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate, up from 46 cents; $1.48 per $100 of assessed value of personal property, including motor vehicles; and $1.48 per $100 of assessed value for machinery and tools/business equipment.

Mobile homes are considered personal property but are taxed at the real estate rate of 48 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Under the new rate, the tax bill on a house assessed at $100,000 would be $488.

The reimbursement rate for the Personal Property Tax Relief Act on a qualifying vehicle is 49 percent.

The $115,656,057 county budget includes pay raises for county employees and provides level funding to the school division.

Aside from the school division’s budget, overall expenses are down 2.1 percent, according to County Administrator Tim Hall.

The budget provides $16,577,895 for the school division rather than the $16,844,238 that was requested by the school board. The board had asked for an increase of $266,343, or 1.61 percent, but received level funding from last year.

In a separate action and in the current year’s budget, the supervisors appropriated a total of $522,008 in additional and unspent funds to the school division. The $522,008 includes $338,811 in state funds above what was included in fiscal year 2013 due to enrollment that was above projections; additional funds from the sale of school buses; and reimbursed transportation costs, according to board documents.

Schools Superintendent Jared Cotton indicated that $70,000 will be used to buy a special education bus to replace one that recently was totaled in an accident; $10,000 will be used for vehicle repair supplies; and $355,234 will go for iPads and MacBooks. (See related story.)

Janet Copenhaver, director of technology for the school division, said the additional Ipads are needed for sixth-graders.

In other matters at their 3 p.m. meeting at the Henry County Administration Building, the supervisors:

• Heard a monthly update from Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville Henry County Economic Development Corp., in which Heath reported that EDC staff has been “aggressive” in contacting 53 firearm/ammunition manufacturing companies to possibly recruit them to the area.

Of those contacted, Heath said the EDC has heard back from four, and they are “taking a wait and see attitude” before relocating.

Future marketing of the area to those companies will be done in partnership with the state, he said.

Several states have sought to recruit firearm/ammunition manufacturing companies away from states that are enacting stricter gun control legislation in the wake of recent large-scale shootings.

Also, the EDC is currently working with a total of 12 projects, including seven that have not visited the area and five that have come here, Heath said.

• Appropriated $6,227 from an insurance reimbursement for storm damage to a shelter at Fisher Farm Park, as requested by the Parks and Recreation Department. The funds will be used to repair the shelter.

• Considered a monthly update on delinquent tax collection efforts. County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff was unable to attend the meeting, but according to board documents, 92.84 percent of personal property taxes and nearly 93 percent of real estate taxes for 2012 were collected by March 29.

• Approved items of consent that included minutes from the March 26, April 2, April 4 and April 15 meetings; accounts payable; and a resolution that established May 3 as “Fire and Rescue Volunteer Appreciation Day” in Henry County to honor the efforts of about 500 volunteers who field 1,600 calls for fire department services and 6,300 calls for EMS response, and expressed the board’s gratitude to fire and EMS volunteers.

• Heard from Tyler Millner, who asked to address the supervisors during the afternoon business meeting.

Board Chairman Jim Adams explained that Millner would have an opportunity to address supervisors at the 6 p.m. meeting, which includes a time for public comments.

• Approved a proclamation establishing May 15 as “National Police Officers Memorial Day” in Henry County. May 13-17 was set aside to honor fallen police officers nationwide, including the six fallen Henry County law enforcement officers — John Hughes Mitchell, George S. Frame, John J. Johnson, Willis Herman Ferguson, George Melvin Brown and Paul Edward Grubb.

The county also will participate in the national day of celebration, according to County Administrator Tim Hall, who said the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Martinsville Police Department are working on an event.

• Approved a resolution recognizing the service of Dr. Richard S. Perren, who served as operational medical director for the volunteer rescue squads and the department of public safety since 2009 before his recent resignation.

• Appropriated $53,147.12 from the state’s Four-For-Life return-to-localities fund. The money must be used for emergency medical services training, supplies, and/or equipment and will be distributed equally between the five county rescue squads and the Department of Public Safety for ambulance operations. Each entity will receive $8,857.85.

• Appropriated a $10,000 Harvest Foundation Pick up the Pace! (PUP) grant to the Gateway Streetscape Foundation for anti-litter efforts. Supervisors’ approval is required because the county is the fiscal agent for Gateway.

• Appropriated an additional $1,400 in asset forfeiture funds as requested by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Bushnell to cover travel expenses for the rest of the fiscal year.

• Met in closed session to discuss appointees to the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Community Policy and Management Team, Piedmont Regional Community Services Board and Southside Community Action Board; consult with County Attorney George Lyle on pending legal matters; the acquisition and/or disposal of real estate; and discuss as-yet unannounced industries.


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