Category Archives: Budget – Albemarle

Albemarle PC briefed on capital budget process

Tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m., an advisory committee appointed to help Albemarle County shape its capital improvement program budget for the next fiscal year will hold its first meeting. Last week, the seven-member Planning Commission got an overview including a reminder that last year was very different. (watch the meeting)

“Last year when we were putting together the FY22 budget, there was no [capital improvement program],” said Andy Bowman, the chief of budget in the Finance and Budget office. “The county was in the middle of the pandemic and there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and really at that time it was decided instead of focusing on a long-range picture, to focus on the impacts of the pandemic and what might be able to be unpaused from a number of projects that were paused at the start of the pandemic.”

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Biden signs first of two national infrastructure packages

President Joe Biden has signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will likely change the landscape for the way all kinds of projects in Virginia and the Charlottesville area are funded. 

“This law makes the most significant investment in roads and bridges in the past 70 years,” Biden said. “It makes the most significant investment in passenger rail in the past 50 years. And in public transit ever.” 

The bill provides direct funding to specific areas across the entire country. (details from the White House)

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Albemarle may close FY21 with $13.2M in one-time money

As Albemarle prepares a budget for fiscal year 2023, County Executive Jeffrey Richardson briefed Supervisors on the closing of Fiscal Year 21 at a meeting on November 3, 2021

Like all localities, Albemarle was affected by the pandemic.

“The last 20 months have been unlike any in my professional working career and I probably speak for staff when I say our challenges and the kinds of issues and problems we face are unlike any that we have faced in our career,” Richardson said. 

The pandemic began officially in Virginia on March 12, 2020 with the declaration of a state of emergency. That happened just as Albemarle was finalizing the budget for fiscal year 2021. A decision was made to rewrite the budget to pause some spending while more was known about underlying economic conditions.  Richardson said staff initially assumed the worst case scenario. 

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an update on transportation projects in albemarle county

(This segment originally appeared in the May 29, 2021 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

At the height of the Great Recession earlier this century, Albemarle County froze many positions and slowed contributions to its capital improvement program. One job that was not filled for many years was transportation planning, but for the past few years, Albemarle has put together an organized list of potential projects to address road capacity issues as well as bike and pedestrian connections.

In July 2019, they adopted a priority list ranging from Hydraulic/29 Improvements at #1 to U.S. 250 West / Gillums Ridge Road Intersection Improvements at #89. 

“That list provided all capital transportation projects that are recommended through the various county planning processes,” said Kevin McDermott , a chief of planning in Albemarle, in a May 19 to the Board of Supervisors. (review the update)

The list is intended to help planners identify funding sources for projects, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale program as well as the county’s own capital improvement program.  

“We have gotten 12 projects from that 2019 project list funded,” McDermott said. 

  • Hydraulic 29 / Improvements, including a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 29 and a roundabout at Hillsdale and Hydraulic, are slated to be funded at $24 million by Commonwealth Transportation Board in June (#1)
  • U.S. Route 250 improvements to add median between Route 20 and Rolkin Road to receive $6 million in Smart Scale funding using $2 million in local funds (#2)
  • Route 20 / U.S. 250 intersection will be rebuilt using funding from 2018 Smart Scale round sometime in 2024 (#3)
  • Berkmar Drive will be extended further north to Lewis and Clark Drive, providing a continuous roadway to UVA North Fork Research Park. Funding came from VDOT’s revenue sharing program.
  • Further changes to Fontaine Avenue / U.S. 29 intersection including a shared-use path (#6)
  • A roundabout will be built at Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street Extended with $5 million in VDOT funds and $2 million in Albemarle funds (#7)
  • A roundabout at Rio Road and the John Warner Parkway is recommended for $8 million funding in the current Smart Scale process and $2 million in Albemarle funds will be used (#15)
  • Bike and pedestrian improvements will be made on Old Lynchburg Road using Albemarle funds (#26)
  • A section of the Northtown Trail shared-use path will be built between Seminole Lane North and Carrsbrook Drive at a cost of $4 million (#35)
  • A greenway trail on Moores Creek and a trail hub at 5th Street Station will receive Smart Scale funds and has a total cost of $10 million (#40)
  • A park and ride lot will be constructed near Exit 107 and Crozet Park to serve Jaunt and the future Afton Express at a cost of $3 million (#82)This map depicts location of projects that have received funding since 2019 (Credit: Albemarle County)

McDermott’s purpose for appearing before the supervisors was to get their preliminary support for the next round of transportation projects. At the top of a short list for this year’s cycle of VDOT revenue-sharing funds is the completion Eastern Avenue, a north-south roadway designed to increase connectivity and traffic circulation throughout Crozet. 

“That project is currently being evaluated through an alignment study and conceptual design which the county has funded through our transportation leveraging project,” McDermott said. “We have just recently received the updated cost estimates from that consultant we have hired and their preliminary cost estimates are now at $19,983,000.” 

That would require at least a $10 million match from county funds. However, if approved the state funding would not be available until 2027. 

Another project on the list for potential revenue-sharing projects is one to build bike and pedestrian improvements on Mill Creek Drive to Peregory Lane, a top priority in a recent corridor study. That has a cost estimate of $2 million. 

Applications  for revenue-sharing projects are due this year.  Next year Smart Scale projects will be due. Potential applications to be made next year include a roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic Road, a realignment of Hillsdale Drive, and a roundabout at the intersection of Belvedere Boulevard and Rio Road. 

There’s plenty of time to get involved with these applications. Keep reading and stay tuned.

Regional officials share information about regional budgets

At the end of the April 2021 TJPDC meeting, Commissioners from all six localities had the chance to give updates. Jesse Rutherford is on the Nelson County Board of Supervisors.

“Real quick, just want to say we’re looking at lowering our machine and tools tax as well as lowering our personal property tax rates,” Rutherford said.

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Albemarle Supervisors learn about efforts to implement new cigarette tax for area counties

Last Thursday, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission got an update on the possibility of a regional cigarette tax. The TJPDC is leading efforts to create a body that would collect and distribute the revenues to participating localities. 

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors had received an update at their budget work session on March 22. Lori Allshouse is the director of budget and performance management for Albemarle County. 

“During the 2020 General Assembly, they authorized the county to impose a cigarette tax of up to 40 cents per pack for counties,” Allshouse said. “Up until this time, only Virginia cities, Virginia towns, and Arlington and Fairfax counties have been able to impose a cigarette tax,” Allshouse said. 

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Albemarle BOS continue to work through FY22 budget

Albemarle Supervisors went through the county school system’s request as well as capital projects at their work session Monday.  Graham Paige is the chair of the Albemarle School Board.

“We are projecting the current revenues of $205.8 million which is an increase of $12 million over the current fiscal year,” Paige said. “The majority of that increase, that $6.9 million, is a general fund transfer from local government which as you know is increasing in response to higher real estate assessments and other local tax revenues that so far have been impacted by COVID-19 less than anticipated.” 

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Albemarle Supervisors begin detailed review of $466 million budget

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors have begun their detailed review of the recommended $466 million budget for fiscal year 2022. The season has been slightly extended this year with adoption scheduled for May 5 after a series of work sessions. On Wednesday, the Board began with a look at the operating budget and began recommending potential things to add or to cut. Andy Bowman is the chief of budget. 

“Fiscal year 22 is really going to be a transitional budget,” Bowman said. “Our economy is stabilizing but it has not stabilized. Our community is adapting as our circumstances change and people are impacted by the pandemic in very different ways.” 

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Albemarle Supervisors begin review of $466M budget

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors have begun their detailed review of the recommended $466 million budget for fiscal year 2022. The season has been slightly extended this year with adoption scheduled for May 5 after a series of work sessions. On Wednesday, the Board began with a look at the operating budget and began recommending potential things to add or to cut. Andy Bowman is the chief of budget. 

“Fiscal year 22 is really going to be a transitional budget,” Bowman said. “Our economy is stabilizing but it has not stabilized. Our community is adapting as our circumstances change and people are impacted by the pandemic in very different ways.” 

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Richardson recommends $466 million budget for FY22

(This post originally appeared in the February 25, 2021 installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

Albemarle County Executive Jeffrey Richardson unveiled a $466 million recommended operating budget for the Board of Supervisors to review over the several weeks.  (review the recommended FY22 budget)

“This year’s budget theme pulls forward the budget theme year from fiscal year 21 which was ‘Respond, Recover and Recalibrate’,” Richardson said.

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