Following a public hearing at the Oct. 11 meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the board approved staff recommendations in the $199.6 million FY 2022 Carryover Package by a 9-1 vote. It reappropriates unencumbered obligations, commitments, unexpended capital projects, and grant balances. It included funding for one-time items not included in the Adopted budget. The review recommended allocations of $190.05 million, excluding federal stimulus funds carried forward. It left the board with a discretionary balance of $9.56 million to consider. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget/sites/budget/files/assets/documents/fy2022/carryover/fy-2022-carryover-package.pdf
Here are the two approved uses of the $9.56 million carryover funds.
* Restrooms at FCPS School Stadiums: $7.5 million to support the construction of permanent restrooms at the15 FCPS high school outdoor stadiums. The county estimates that costs per site will range from $800,000 to $1.2 million. Construction is a matter of equity, and there is an economic incentive. Permanent restrooms will attract more athletic competitions, thereby increasing tourism revenue. The $7.5 million carryover funds and the School Board's agreed contribution of 50 percent of the required funds provide $15 million for the project.
* $2.058 million for Employment Incentives Funding: The board approved the additional funding to support establishing a comprehensive hiring incentive program for difficult-to-fill positions. This funding brings $4.1 million to the reserve for employee recruitment and retention. On Sept. 13, the Board authorized the County Executive to grant up to $15,000 in bonuses to new hires in difficult-to-fill positions, such as county police officers and mental health treatment personnel.
The county is using the $190.05 million to strengthen its reserves, meet its obligations, and fund its priorities. Here are some of the non-recurring fundings.
* $25,208 million will be set aside for the pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements capital fund. Per the board's directive, new funding for County-wide pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements is targeted at $100 million over approximately six years through FY 2027. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/walk/projects
* $15 million is funded for the Construction Escalation Reserve. Current cost estimates from professional consultants on many projects currently in design are trending approximately 20 percent higher than the previously approved budget. This is due to inflation and disruptions to global supply chains for most basic raw materials.
* $10.7 million is to support continuing and new IT projects.
* $6.5 million is to fund Environment Energy Initiatives supporting solar and renewable energy installations.
* $5 million is for the Park Authority CIP Projects. The Park Authority has experienced project delays and, thus, a backlog of unsold bonds in addition to inflation and cost escalation on existing projects. Funding helps alleviate some pressure on the bond program, among other things.
By a 9-1 vote, the board authorized the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority to issue a $3 million bond to provide supplemental financing to complete the Ovation at Arrowbrook development at Innovation Station in Herndon. The bond will be repaid by the FCRHA from revenue from the project itself. There will be 274 affordable homes at Arrowbrook.
Earlier this year, Fairfax County Public Schools officials learned of the arrest and conviction of an FCPS counselor. The school division realized that months before, an arrest notification had been sent from another county to a non-working FCPS email address with no follow-up. Once aware, the division put the individual on leave, followed by termination.
Chairman Jeffrey McKay (D) presented a Board Matter, which the board approved, to send a letter to Gov. Youngkin and Virginia Sec. of Education Aimee Guidera. The letter can be viewed on page 53 of the Oct. 11, 2022, meeting materials. It addresses how Virginia handles information sharing regarding arrests or convictions. McKay explains the need to accelerate Virginia's inclusion in Rap Back. It is the FBI alert system when someone employed in the public trust enters the criminal justice system.
McKay says he supports legislation during the 2023 General Assembly to modernize and ensure accountability. McKay asks the governor to close gaps by providing enhanced reporting guidance and procedures to law enforcement agencies and school systems around the state.