The word unanimously shows up everywhere in votes take by the Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday afternoon.
The supervisors agreed on everything, starting with the county's $150,808,768 budget for next year, a 5% increase that also provides schools with another $400,000.
This 2019-20 budget, which would take affect at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, also provides raises to all county employees and funds several major projects while adding no new costs to citizens. It includes no increases for taxes or fees.
As part of that, the board also unanimously approved the local budget for Henry County Public Schools, raising the county’s commitment to $18,925,432, which is $103,864 less than the school board had sought. That means that about 12.5% of the county's budget will go to schools.
To pay for all of this, the board unanimously approved tax rates of $.555 per $100 assessed value of real estate and $1.55 per $100 of assessed value for personal property and for machinery and tools/business equipment. The effective reimbursement rate for the Personal Property Tax Relief Act is 41.12%, and the city will charge $20.75 for cars and trucks, $12 for motorcycles and $12 for trailers.
The overall budget pays for:
- 3% raises for all county employees, exclusive of the state-mandated raises for teachers.
- Two additional two-person crews to serve on both fire and EMS calls.
- $125,000 to complete the 16-slip expansion of the Philpott Marina.
- $100,000 less ($900,000) for the sheriff’s office to outsource inmates.
- $57,200 in communications equipment to replace radios.
- $175,000 through the Virginia Fire Program fund for a new fire truck for the Collinsville Fire Department.
- $500,000 for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.
- $5,000 in seed money for preliminary work on a county fair, such as creating a website and logo.
- One additional attorney for the commonwealth attorney’s office, which is a state mandate based on the number of deputies with body-worn cameras.
- Capital purchases of $377,000 for sheriff’s patrol cars, $160,000 for ambulance and stretcher upgrades and a variety of smaller projects.
Supervisors also were unanimous again in approving transfers of $575,850 in current-year funds to purchase several needed capital items. They include:
- $250,000 for compactors for the Refuse Department’s pilot program at Axton.
- $78,000 for parking-lot resurfacing at the county adminstration building and courthouse.
- $90,000 to replace two aged trucks and a tractor for Parks and Recreation.
- $50,000 to seal a portion of the Dick and Willie Trail.
- $50,000 to replace 20-year-old playground equipment at Jordan Creek Park.
- $40,000 to replace a Public Safety fire prevention vehicle.
- $17,850 to assist the Clerk of Circuit Court’s plan to convert all records to digital.
In other business, the supervisors:
- Unanimously voted to appropriate $592,500 related to the sale of property at Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre to Appalachian Power for construction of the electrical substation and to transfer local funds previously appropriated for the CCBC water tank project.
- Unanimously awarded a contract in the amount of $377,000 to Roofing Solutions Inc. of Chatham for replacement of the roof at the Henry County Courthouse.
- Unanimously awarded a contract in the amount of $62,588 to Colonial Ford Truck Sales Inc. for a new 2019 Ford F550 truck for the parks and recreation department.
- Unanimously proclaimed May 4 as Fire/Rescue Volunteer Appreciation Day in Henry County and May 12-18 as National Peace Officers Memorial Week.
- Heard a report from County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff that said that, as of March 29, his office had collected 89.33 percent of 2018 personal property taxes and 91.56 percent of 2018 real estate taxes.
- Heard an update by Rob Catron on the I-73 Coalition.