IOW plans for cuts

Published 11:32 am Saturday, January 19, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—The Isle of Wight County supervisors on Thursday voted unanimously to direct County Administrator Douglas Caskey to submit a budget that’s 5 percent less than this year’s budget.

Board Chairwoman JoAnn Hall wanted to know the impact.

“We want to know both the fiscal impact as well as the practical impact to our employees,” Hall said.

Caskey said his department heads were prepared to submit a flat budget as well as one that reflects a 5 percent decrease in spending.

In October the board told the Isle of Wight School Board to also submit budgets with 5 percent cuts.

“I believe all departments and agencies not just the school board were told to expect to those cuts,” Caskey said. “I recall that being the message, but that was not an official communication to me directly.”

Supervisor Al Casteen feels it’s simpler for the departments to come up with the decrease ahead of time than to come up with possible cuts later.

“We would like to fund everything full if we could,” Casteen said.

“All things being equal expenditure wise,” added Supervisor Rex Alphin. “I’m struggling to see us coming close to having the revenue to balance the budget that we had last year.”

Alphin figures if the county has the same budget from last year, the county will have $5.9 million less to fund those requests.

“I hope I’m not too pessimistic because I don’t like to be,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is over the next three to four years, is this elephant that grows every year, and that’s called debt service.”

Hall noted they shouldn’t look at taking funds out the county’s savings.

“We hit that fund to hard this past year to fund the budget,” she said.

Alphin noted there was hope from unexpected funds that will come in during the budget process.

“We had $279,000 come in from International Paper that was unanticipated money, and we will know by May what we can expect from Green Mountain,” he said.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is developing a production facility in Windsor that will create 800 jobs.

“I am very thankful for those funds,” Alphin said.