Management and Budget

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Fairfax, VA 22035-0074
Philip A. Hagen

FY 2011 Budget Process Questions and Answers

The information below is provided in response to questions by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during the FY 2011 budget development process.  Questions are researched by staff and packages of responses are posted regularly so check back for additional information.



County-Related Questions


School-Related Questions


What fees for IRBs do other Northern Virginia jurisdictions charge?  What revenue would Fairfax County raise if the county imposed these fees?


 Please provide the most up-to-date WABE charts, providing jurisdictional breakdowns in categories of average cost per pupil, average class size, school population size, and percent of children available for special education. 


Please summarize the county's current senior and disabled tax relief program.


What was the total amount paid to the District Management Council (DMC) last year? What amount is budgeted for this year? 


Please summarize the new fees implemented in FY 2010 that impact seniors.


What are the specific services being provided by DMC? Do these services include focus groups and message development on the budget?


Please provide a summary of all tax referenda in Virginia for the last 10 years.


 During the presentation at the joint BOS/School Board meeting you reported increases in SOL scores and that you are closing the achievement gap in SOL scores. As the Washington Post reported there has been a large increase in the number of students taking the VGLA. What is the specific impact of the additional VGLA students on the results depicted on these charts? How did you compute the impact so there is an “apples to apples” comparison to those just taking the SOLs?


Please recirculate the staff prepared memorandum on the costs to do stormwater pond inspections in- house versus through a contract.


What accounts for the large increase in the number of students taking the VGLA instead of the SOLs?  Do we expect this upward trend to continue?


 What cost savings, if any would be recognized by contracting out to the private sector for the maintenance of vehicles?


Do you have a detailed description of the positions that are considered “school based” vs. “administrative”?


  What is the revenue loss due to senior citizen discounts, by program, and what loss of participation would be expected from eliminating or reducing the discount?


Do you know the actual number that transferred in to FCPS from private schools last year?


How much does the County spend each year on outside legal counsel, divided by type of service (collection, legal advice, litigation, etc.)?


What is the cost to the school system to train and administer the VGLA tests? Please include time both in and out of the classroom.


 What county funded after school recreation or childcare programs are provided in the middle schools?  What is the total cost and what fees or fee increases would be necessary to make the programs cost neutral?


Please provide an update on FY 2010 retirement cost requirements based on the state’s budget proposal:  How much total funding did FCPS budget for VRS in the FY 2011 Advertised Budget, and how does this total compare with FY 2010 Approved funding levels?  What is the anticipated savings to FCPS using the lower VRS rates included in the state’s budget conference report, and how do these compare with the VRS rate assumptions in FCPS’ advertised budget?  How much will the lower rate save FCPS?


What was the increase in expenditures per employee for the Police Department, Fire Department, and Sheriff’s Office from FY 2001 to FY 2008, adjusted for inflation?  How does this compare to other local governments in the D.C. Metropolitan area? Are there specific cost drivers behind this increase?


How much total state funding for FCPS was included in the FY 2010 approved budget and assumed in the FY 2011 FCPS advertised budget?  How much of that amount is sales tax?  Does the amount include state fiscal stabilization funds (SFSF) provided through the federal stimulus (ARRA) bill?  If not, what is the total amount assumed in the advertised budget from the state, including ARRA state fiscal stabilization funds?


Provide updated numbers relating to the annual cost to the county government stemming from the “Cool Counties” initiative?


How much federal stimulus (ARRA) funding did the FCPS receive in FY 2010 in addition to the ARRA funding that came through the state?  What is that amount for FY 2011?


What is the County’s annual cost for environmental programs that go beyond meeting current state and federal obligations?


Please provide the detailed methodology of how FCPS’ state revenue budget compares to the numbers provided in the conference report? 


What is the purpose of having a Department of Administration for Human Services and a Department of Systems Management for Human Services?  Could savings be realized through a consolidation of these Departments?


Provide a summary of the reductions included in the FY 2011 Advertised Budget.  Estimating, based on a flat transfer, will these reductions remain?


What is the per child cost for the School-Age Child Care program? If we retain the current sliding fee scale for households with incomes of less than $50,000 what fee adjustments would be necessary to make the program cost neutral?


The FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan includes a $629,875 increase in the medical contract for the medically fragile children who attend Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). What is the total FY 2011 cost associated with this service? What is the anticipated FY 2011 increase in the number of students receiving this service? Why is this service contracted out? How many additional nurses does this increase include?


On a per year basis, how much over the rate of inflation did county salaries increase from FY 2001 to FY 2008?  How does this compare with (a) the private sector in Northern Virginia and (b) local government employees in other jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area?


Please provide the actual cost paid for all school bus purchases or leases made in the past five years.  Please provide a list of buses by the year purchased.   Please provide the total amount of stimulus money received or planned to be received by FCPS for FY 2010 and FY 2011. Please also provide a break down of the stimulus money by category.


What cost savings could be realized by eliminating programs that duplicate programs covered by the federal or state governments (consumer protection, EEO, etc.)?


Please provide an explanation for the discrepancy between these two statements.


What is the annual cost of tax incentives provided to businesses to induce them to come to Fairfax County?


Please provide the same analysis of central administration costs that appears on slide 20 of the FCPS FY 2011 Advertised Budget presentation for fiscal year 2006.

Please also provide a detailed description of the “Facilities Management”, “Transportation” and “Division wide Centrally Managed” categories


What is the replacement schedule for county vehicles, what savings could be achieved by lengthening the cycles, and what would be the potential downsides?



What role does Fairfax county play in international search and rescue efforts and what costs are incurred by the County?


For the students currently enrolled at Pimmit, please provide a summary of how the other alternative high schools and FCPS programs will serve them, including the impact on transportation.


Does the County have a procedure for reviewing its capital assets to determine whether tax payers would benefit by the sale of an asset to the private sector and lease back by the County? If so, what is the procedure? If no, does staff recommend that such a procedure be implemented? If not, why not?


In the FCPS FY 2011 Advertised Budget presentation, a 12-year analysis of central administration costs is shown on slide 20.  Please explain why a 12-year analysis was done. What is the significance of 12 years?


Regarding operation of Artemis House:

Were any budget cuts for Artemis house proposed in the FY 2010 Lines of Business (LOB) analysis?  If so, in what LOB?

What is the county FY 2010 budget for staffing Artemis House? How many staff persons?

Does the FY 2010 budget reflect the fact that operation of Artemis House will be contracted out?

How many county staff have been freed up by contracting out operation of Artemis House?

Has any consideration been given to transferring some of those staff to other departments or agencies that had their staff cut as part of the LOB process?

What other information should the Board of Supervisors know about the budget implications of freeing up county staff from operating Artemis House?




Please provide additional detail and justification for the funding and nine additional merit positions included in the FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan in the Health Department.




Please provide additional information on the proposed Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.




Please provide additional information on the proposed Department of Code Enforcement.




Please explain the impact of the FY 2010 accelerated reductions on FY 2011.




How much does the typical household pay annually in Personal Property Taxes and what would be the cost of the proposed Vehicle Registration License Fee to the typical household in Fairfax County?




What would be the cost of reinstituting longevity pay for 15 and 20 year employees of the police department?




How much revenue would be generated if fees for parking violations were raised from the current $50 to $75?




What is the county's annual disbursement of funds to the Metro system (bus and train)?  Please provide a breakdown of the funds (operations, capital construction, etc.) and fare box collections against these funds, on the bus and on the train.




Please provide the percentage of taxpayers who would actually pay less at a rate of $1.09 up through a rate of $1.12.




What would be the advantages or disadvantages of de-funding the proposed 298 merit positions for reduction versus complete elimination so that agencies still have the staffing levels to address needs in the future?




Please provide a combined chart showing the proposed service reductions for CONNECTOR, and describe proposed FY 2011 reductions or savings for FASTRAN and MetroAccess.




Please provide additional detail on the acceleration of FY 2011 reductions into FY 2010.




Does the transfer of resources supporting Homeless Services to OPEH completely transfer DFS LOB 67-15?  If some funding remains in DFS, why was it not transferred and how much is it?




Please provide information on the Fairfax Families4Kids program. Is it being discontinued as part of the FY 2011 budget or is it being continued under the proposed reorganization?




What projects will be covered by the proposed $35 million short term borrowing plan for County renewal?




Please provide additional information on the Lewinsville Project.  What are some of the outstanding issues and what are some of the timing difficulties with this project?




Please provide the slide presentation on the reorganization of the Department of Community and Recreation Services and the Department of Systems Management for Human Services.




During a visit to the I-66 transfer station last year, I was made aware that the Department of Vehicle Services often buys new replacement parts for vehicles and machinery instead of using the factory warranty or reconditioned parts. I understand that this is done with the objective of returning vehicles to service quickly. This does come with a price.

How many times has this happened in the last 2 years? For each time how much did we pay for new replacement parts that could have been serviced under warranty or with reconditioned parts?

What is the reason for purchasing new parts instead of using the factory warranties or reconditioned parts? How much could we save if we were to increase the use of warranties and reconditioned parts?



Please provide the average cost per acre for the closure and post-closure requirements of sanitary landfills in Virginia.




Per Ed Long's memo to DEQ dated December 7, 2009, please provide: a detailed breakdown of how the remaining closure costs for the ash land fill were calculated; a detailed breakdown of how the remaining post-closure costs for the entire I-95 landfill were calculated; and a detailed breakdown of how the estimated $3 million in corrective action costs for the I-95 landfill were calculated. Has the county already paid any portion of these costs?




The fourth footnote associated with Fund 114, I-95 Refuse Disposal’s "Environmental Reserve" (Pg. 327 of Volume 2) notes that "the Environmental Reserve provides for future environmental projects." Please provide more detail on "future environmental projects."




Has the county reviewed its management structure in light of the reductions in staff to determine whether there should be reductions in management positions or further consolidations in the organizational structure? If so, what were the results? If not, please conduct this analysis.




What would be the feasibility and the cost versus benefits of developing a county store to sell surplus equipment to citizens, small businesses and non-profits?




Provide information regarding revenue received from the Commonwealth over the past three years.




What percentage of cost incurred by the County during a Board of Equalization appeal is currently recovered? What fee level would need to be charged, if, like in Land Development Services, we look to recover 75 percent of the cost incurred by the County?




Please detail Metro funding requirements, as included in the Advertised Budget Plan and as proposed by the Metro General Manager.




Is the increased revenue from the 25 cent proposed CONNECTOR fare increase included in the FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan?




How much revenue could be raised if the meeting rooms in libraries and/or at Supervisors Offices were charged for at the same rate as at the Government Center? What decline, if any, in use would be expected as a result of such a change?




For the FY 2010 budget:

o   What were the approved and revised budgeted amounts for fuel cost in FY2010?

o   What were the estimates used for average cost per gallon and number of gallons?

Also, for the FY 2010 actual:

o What is projected total cost?

o What is projected average cost per gallon?

o How many gallons?

For the FY 2011Advertised budget:

o What is advertised budget amount for fuel costs?

o What is average cost per gallon used in advertised budget?

o How many gallons used in advertised budget?

For past 12 months, what has been average cost per gallon each month?

Also, please answer same questions for FCPS.

Also, my recollection is we created or funded a fuel reserve last year for FY2010.

o Correct?

o If so, what is status of reserve?

Is there a fuel reserve fund in FY2011 advertised budget?

o If so, please explain.

Please provide any other information/explanations relevant to consideration of the amounts spent for fuel costs in FY 2010 and budgeted for FY 2011.




In reference to Judge Smith’s public hearing testimony on 4/6/10 regarding the law clerks, please provide the number of vacant positions in Circuit Court and Records.




The FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan includes a $629,875 increase in the medical contract for the medically fragile children who attend Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). What is the total FY 2011 cost associated with this service? What is the anticipated FY 2011 increase in the number of students receiving this service? Why is this service contracted out? How many additional nurses does this increase include?




How many county employees currently telework one day each work week?  What is the current target or goal in terms of number or percentage of employees teleworking?  What are the reasons the county is meeting or failing to meet the teleworking goal?




Please provide the total amount the county spends internally and externally on design, content and printing of all publications. Please also provide a list of publications and a breakdown of cost by publication.




Please provide an update on the Legacy Systems Replacement Project.




Can funding which supports the mid-day shuttle operated by the Fairfax Connector system in Tysons be redirected to help pay for Fairfax Connector bus service proposed to be cut as a result of the loss of the Dulles Corridor bus service grant?




How much is the County currently spending on bicycle programs?




A few speakers have mentioned that Fairfax County’s real estate tax rate is 40th in the country.  What is the source of this information?




Please describe the impact of the proposed reduction in the Taxi Access program.




What is the impact of the home-based care reduction?




Please list each take home vehicle, the name and position title of each person one is assigned to and the reason why.




Provide an update on the status of Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) reductions, including information on those involving revenue redesigns.




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