By Brandon Martin
The Henry County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to appropriate the fiscal year 2021 budget during a June 23 meeting.
The net total of revenues and expenditures for the county is $156,358,217. County funds cannot be expended or obligated until an appropriation has been made, according to Henry County Administrator Tim Hall.
Hall said only one substantive change was made to the budget since the board adopted it at their May 26 meeting.
“This is tied primarily to the construction of the jail,” Hall said. “If we have to come back to you for a change order, that could clearly have an impact on the timing. We are recommending a change where it would read under Section 9 that ‘a county administrator may approve construction change orders to contracts up to an increase of 25 percent or $100,000, whichever is greater.”
In addition, the change also allows Hall to make reductions in contracts. Although Hall has the ability to approve these change orders, he will notify the board within three days of any change order that exceeds $20,000.
Hall said the majority of the other changes made to the budget were date changes and removing some consultants that the county has used in the past who have now been replaced.
After the budget was appropriated, the board also took action on a number of other financial matters.
Following a presentation by Henry-Martinsville Department of Social Services Director Amy Rice, the board unanimously approved an additional appropriation of $350,000 to cover overages in the Children’s Service Act (CSA) Program Fund.
Rice said the CSA was enacted in 1993 as a way to better serve the children and families of the community. Funds are set aside from Social Services, schools and juvenile justice to make one large pool. “There is a tiered match rate for the locality.”
Funds from the pool are tapped to bring in experts from each field to “talk about the family as a whole,” she said. “The idea is if a child is served at home and in their community, they have better long-term results. When we talk about at-risk youth, we are looking at youth who are more likely to drop out of school; they are more likely to commit criminal acts as a result so their outcomes tend to be poor. This is an attempt to repair whatever damage may have occurred.”
Rice said since the tiered match rate is geared towards the local community, the state gives the locality a local match rate for the services provided. She said it’s a 14 percent match rate. If a child is placed outside of the home in a different type of care like therapeutic foster care, then it is a 28 percent match rate, she said.
Rice said that Virginia has experienced a $36 million increase to CSA. While that increase is attributed to more special education enrollment, Henry County had an increase in therapeutic foster care.
“We served overall 216 children and spent $12,000 per child,” she said. More young children with significant needs has also increased, Rice said, adding that Franklin County supports 311 children through CSA, and spent an average of $22,000 per child.
She suggested reviewing the tiered match rate during the next legislative session in order to solve shifts in funding from the state onto the locality.
In other matters presented, the board:
*Transferred current year funds totaling $445,600 for eight patrol vehicles for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Air Packs for Public Safety.
*Appropriated an additional $7,273 to cover the costs of extending the water and sewer lines to
the new restroom facility at the Smith River Sports Complex.
*Transferred funds totaling $210,000 to cover expenses related to housing inmates at other facilities.
*Awarded a contract to J.L. Culpepper & Company, Inc. to supply food for the Henry County
Jail. This contract does not stipulate a total expenditure amount because of the fluctuation in numbers of inmates. Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry estimated that the overall contract will be $160,000.
*Approved monthly expenditures for FY ’21 associated with housing inmates at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail and New River Valley Regional Jail.
*Awarded a $24,000 contract to Dr. Edna E. Gordon for physician services for inmates.
*Appropriated $18,950 needed to make repairs to a failing slope at the Philpott Marina.
*Appropriated $30,000 received from a Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) grant to upgrade call handling equipment in the 911 Center.
*Awarded contracts for computer hardware and software totaling $611,922.
*Appropriated grants funds in the amount of $65,113 to buy personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies for use by poll workers in the November election.
*Conducted a public hearing for, and then approved, a rezoning application for a property located at 1279 Chatham Road in the Collinsville District. The applicant requested approximately 3.73-acres be rezoned from Commercial District B-1 to Agricultural District A-1. The applicant intends to create an additional building lot and to keep agricultural animals on the property.
*Conducted a public hearing for, and then approved, a rezoning application for a property located at 22485 A.L. Philpott Highway in the Horsepasture District. The applicant requested the rezoning of approximately 4.355-acres from Agricultural District A-1 to Commercial District B-1, and intends to develop a retail store on the property.