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24 February 1999 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeffrey M. Parnes

1. The guest speaker covered the county's budget for fiscal year 2000. The combined general fund disbursements is just under two billion dollars, $1,949,845,526, a 4% increase, while the combined general fund revenue is just under 14 million dollars less, $1,935,502,974, a 5% increase.

Disbursements are allocated as follows:
Schools50.6% $985 M
Public Safety12.1%$237 M
Health & Welfare11.9%$233 M
Non departmental6.0%$116 M
County Debt4.9%$ 96 M
Transfers(metro/bus)3.4%$ 66 M
Parks/Recreation/Culture2.9%$ 56 M
Central Services2.4%$ 46 M
Public Works 2.1%$ 42 M
Community Development1.6%$ 32 M
Legislative/Executive1.1%$ 20 M
Judicial 1.0%$ 20 M

Revenues are projected as:
Real Estate Taxes51.5%$997 M
Personal Property Taxes20.1%$388 M
General Other Local Taxes16.9%$327 M
State Revenue3.9%$ 75 M
Use of Money & Property2.2%$ 42 M
Fees, Permits & Licenses1.6%$ 31 M
Federal Revenue1.6%$ 31 M
Charges for Services1.6%$ 30 M
Fines & Forfeitures0.4%$ 8 M
Recovered Costs0.2%$ 5 M

There will be no change in the either the real estate or personal property tax rates. The real estate tax base increased by 6.3% last year, based on 3.4% new construction and 3.% equalization (mainly in the non-residential area component).

The Board of Supervisors budgeted a 5.3% increase in school authority funds to $897.3 million, but the School Board requested $916.9 million, a 7.6% increase, for a short fall of $19.6 between the county's allocation and the School Board's request. This does not take into consideration any money that may be made available to the county by the state's release of lottery revenue. The county and the school authority have different view points of what each's funding responsibility is. For instance, although the authority operates the largest school bus fleet in the country, the authority is not creating a reserve fund for bus replacement. On the other hand, the county calculates a per mile fee for all its vehicles which is used to fund their replacements. The authority is of the opinion that it is their responsibility to schedule and run the school buses, but that they are county supplied, and so they do not budget funds for their replacement. The schools are also not budgeting funds for computer replacements.

The county plans on increasing county's employees' compensation by both a 2% cost of living adjustment and a 1.6% market rate adjustment. In past years the county had not kept up with market rate adjustments and so was losing employees to the private sector or to other local governments. The county will increase the medical premiums for county employees for the first time in five years by 15%, which works out to about a $1000 a year increase for family coverage.

The county will add 81 new positions in 2000, 75 to staff new facilities, and 6 in public safety. It will redirect 17 other positions to address workload, moving the bulk of them from sewer and solid waste.

The budget contains $5 million for initial work on the proposed West Fairfax County Recreation Center.

Information about the budget can be found on the county's web site, http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/gov/omb

2. The School Board approved the proposed boundary changes in Western Centreville with only minor, requested changes.

3. The Park Authority held an invitation-only meeting on 9 February where it solicited input from citizen, school and sports groups. The School Board has offered 30 areas next to the West Fairfax High School site, off Lee Road near Westfields, to the Park Authority to use for the West Fairfax Recreation Center if the Park Authority chooses. Only 15 of the 30 areas are usable as the rest are environmentally sensitive. The Park Authority has a $15 million total budget for recreation center, so if it does not choose to use the suggested site, then the cost of land acquisition will have to come out of budgeted amount.

At the meeting, many sports groups requested features, such as Olympic sizes swimming and diving areas, indoor tracks, etc., which are available no where else in the county. The Sully representative felt that the sports groups were clambering for a facility of county-wide interest, but thought the facility should be built to serve the interests of Sully residents, rather than the be a county-wide facility. The proposed location drew comment, as it is far west even in the Sully District, and is accessibility to Loudoun and Prince William counties brought up concerns that residents of those counties who did not pay for its construction could be using it to the detriment to Fairfax County residents. The Park Authority tries to recoup the operating costs in user fees for the facility, and should be directed to institute a two-tier fee schedule, one for county residents and the other for residents of other counties.

A Park Authority representative will attend the Sully District Council Meeting on 28 April to discuss their plans for the West Fairfax Recreation Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey M. Parnes, Chair
Civic Affairs Committee

Archived Articles

Sully District Council Minutes

Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes

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