Augusta County votes on budget; tables discussion for body cameras

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - The majority of Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the fiscal budget on Wednesday night.

Body cameras have been a big topic of discussion for locals throughout the budgeting process, but cameras didn’t make it onto the FY 2023 budget.

Following the vote, county supervisor Scott Seaton made a motion to ask the county attorney to see if voters can decide if the county should purchase body cameras for the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office. The motion was ultimately tabled to board’s next meeting.

The $114.7 million budget emphasizes employee pay, education and keeping taxes level. Finance Director Misty Cook said not raising taxes was especially important this year, as the cost of living increases.

“Fuel’s up, the cost of doing business in general is up. We’re paying more for contracted services. We’re seeing fuel surcharges due to the cost of fuel, so just being able to work those into the budget,” she said.

As for education, Augusta County Schools will get a funding increase of 3% from last year.

“This year it will be about $56 million. That includes their operating, their debt service, and an allowance we give them for bus replacement,” said Cook.

The county has also included a pay and reclassification study to look into compensation.

“Obviously everyone is having issues with their workplace recruitment and retention, so one of our priorities in addition to education was to recruit and retain employees across the board for the county,” Cook said.

The board will also consider a contract for architects and engineers to produce an Augusta County Courthouse layout for both Verona and Staunton. Candy Hensley with the county said they have to hear from experts in the field to move forward with the referendum.

You can watch the meeting by clicking here.

If you’d like to learn more about the budget, you can follow this link.

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