King William administrator recommends raises for county staff, teachers; board approves transfer of county Comcast franchise

aluck@tidewaterreview.com

King William county staff and teachers may see salary increases next year.

County administrator Bobbie Tassinari recommended a 2 percent raise for all full-time and permanent part-time county staff, as well as 5 percent raises for teachers and other instructional and administrative positions at King William County Public Schools, as requested by division Superintendent David White.

Tassinari presented her recommended budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 to officials and residents at the Board of Supervisors’ Monday night meeting.

Tassiniari’s recommended budget comes out to $25,575,137, which is $1,890,522 less than this year’s budget of $27,465,659, according to her presentation.

Tassinari again recommends a 2-cent decrease in the real estate tax rate (as she’s done since 2016). The current rate is 88 cents per $100 of assessed value. Tassinari wants to drop it to 86 cents, which would go into effect in January 2020.

Schools

The school division has requested $1,283,150 from the county after additional savings, according to Tassinari.

Tassinari recommending allocating $770,771 to fund:

» Ten new positions, a new bus and increased services for special education for $201,730

» Two part-time guidance counselors and one data assessment coordinator to meet new Department of Education student-to-counselor ratio requirements for $128,030.

» Meet requirements for Department of Education’s “Profile of Virginia Graduate” program with a new position and upgrading one paraprofessional for $108,000.

» Tassinari did not include $430,000 to meet a projected 12 percent increase for health insurance; instead she suggested waiting to fund the school’s health insurance increase as the division is working with the county to explore other options and is waiting to learn the exact number.

“We will make the request whole when we know the exact number,” Tassinari said.

Tassinari did not recommend funding:

» Five percent raises for non Standards of Quality positions, instead recommending a 3 percent salary raise for those cafeteria workers and custodial staff for a total of $333,011 for all division staff raises, including 5 percent for teachers and Standards of Quality positions.

» $894,000 for the school’s capital fund, as the school’s funding is almost at a maximum within the parameters of the split levy with the Town of West Point and some funding is having to come from the school’s restricted general fund balance to fund what’s recommended, according to Tassinari.

Employees, capital improvements

In addition to the recommended 2 percent raises for county staff, Tassinari included 3 percent raises based on department performance evaluations from January and February for some full-time staff.

The state is looking at increasing salaries for general registrars, with the local pay adjustment to be 10 percent, taking the county general registrar’s salary from $46,468 to $51,114 ($12,354 from the county, $38,760 from state).

Capital improvements include new financial software for the county and schools for $131,250; $90,000 for Fire and EMS operations ($30,000 each for West Point, Mangohick and County Fire and EMS); $160,000 for an ambulance grant match; $90,000 to re-do the county park’s basketball court; $130,000 for two new sheriff’s vehicles, animal shelter vehicle and maintenance vehicle; and $40,000 to continue to replace carpet in the county administration building.

A public hearing on the recommended budget and tax rates will be at 7 p.m. April 1 in the County Administration building board room, 180 Horse Landing Road, Suite 4, King William.

Comcast franchise transfer

County residents will have the option for a new cable provider in the near future.

The board approved — 4-1, Supervisor David E. Hansen voting no — a resolution to transfer the county’s Comcast franchise to Atlantic Broadband.

The transfer of the franchise would go to Atlantic Broadband on June 1 regardless of the board’s decision, according to county attorney Daniel Stuck.

The approved resolution authorizes the transfer of the franchise and there is an argument that Comcast’s 1988 franchise agreement is still valid in the county, according to Stuck.

“I do not see any downside to this transfer of franchise agreement,” Stuck said.

Hansen was concerned about “exclusive rights” to Atlantic Broadband and letting them be the county’s only provider of cable service.

Stuck said that the agreement is non-exclusive and the county can only regulate cable services, not broadband or telephone communications.

Stuck also said that if another cable company wanted to create a franchise in the county, by state law all agreements have to have the same amount of restrictions, so there are no advantages for just one provider.

Want to know more?

Read more about the Board of Supervisors meeting at tidewaterreview.com.

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, aluck@tidewaterreview.com or @ashleyrluck on Twitter

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