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October 15, 2008

Press Release: Martinsville Bulletin

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

By KIM BARTO - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Martinsville Police Department will lose $37,610 under state budget cuts ordered by Gov. Tim Kaine last week, officials said Tuesday.

City Manager Clarence Monday announced the department will lose that amount in state-reimbursable "599" funds during Tuesday night's Martinsville City Council meeting.

Monday did not say what percentage of the police department's budget that represents or what cuts might be made.

Kaine's plan orders 570 layoffs statewide and numerous budget cuts to deal with a $973 million state revenue shortfall this fiscal year.

It is too early to tell what effect the cuts will have on the city budget, Monday said.
"No decision has been made," and "staff is evaluating the total impact of the reductions," Monday said. After the numbers are crunched, staff will make recommendations to the council, he added.

Other concerns from the state budget reductions include the loss of utility revenue and raises for constitutional officers, Monday said.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History was ordered to reduce its budget by 10 percent, or $314,106, and eliminate five positions. To conserve money, the museum will close on Sundays and Mondays, as well as all state holidays, beginning Oct. 19.

The museum is a large facility, Monday said, and because of the closings, "we know we'll lose money on utilities," but the impact to the city is still being calculated.

Under Kaine's plan, raises for state employees are delayed until July 1 from Dec. 1. The city had built money into the budget to cover the raises and was anticipating getting that state revenue from Dec. 1 to the end of budget year, Monday said.

However, there may be opportunities in the budget "that could offset all of that," Monday said. "You always have revenue that you did not anticipate and did not budget for."

One unanticipated source of revenue is the city's portion of a class-action lawsuit, he said. The city received $51,514.44 from the Carolina Transformer Pro Rata distribution, which will go into the fund balance.

Finance staff will have to weigh unanticipated revenue such as that with the state revenue shortfalls to determine the net effect for the city, he said.

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