Management and Budget

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM M-F

703-324-2391
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 561
Fairfax, VA 22035-0074

Christina Jackson,
Director

FY 2013 Budget Process Questions and Answers

The information below is provided in response to questions by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during the FY 2013 budget development process.  Questions are researched by staff and packages of responses are posted regularly so check back for additional information.

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

1

Please provide a summary of projected revenue increases for FY 2013 as detailed at the November 29, 2011 Budget Committee meeting in comparison to the FY 2012 Adopted Budget Plan.

31

How much money is spent on school lighting at night when buildings are not in use?  Are there cost (and security) savings if sensor lights, cameras, and automated calls to police are used instead?  Additionally, is there any effort made to calibrate the schools’ HVAC systems to the occupancy of the building?

2

Regarding the EQAC report recommendation – how would an EIP Fund be structured and funded?

32

Over the last three years, how many employees with the school system have been terminated due to budget reductions? Please include a breakdown of the job classification.

3

Provide more detail on the County’s Unreserved General Fund Balance as a Percent of General Fund Revenues which equated to 9.2% for the fiscal year ending 6/30/10 (per the Public Financial Management (PFM) presentation on the County’s Bond Ratings on Slide 12).

33

How many non-teachers are employed by Fairfax County School System in the current year and how does that number compare with each of the last five years?  This is not slots, but actual employees. 

4

Please provide meals tax revenue and meals tax rates levied in Northern Virginia, Tidewater, as well as, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia.

34

How many teachers are employed by Fairfax County School System in the current year and how does that number compare with each of the last five years?  This is not slots, but actual employees. 

5

Please provide the results of meals tax referenda in Virginia.

35

Please provide the detailed FCPS report on the issue of dropouts, noted at the March 13 Board Budget Committee meeting.

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 1 (3/13/2012)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

6

Please provide a list of restoration options, including costs, for the Fairfax County Public Library.  Were previous library cuts coordinated or discussed with FCPS?

55

Please provide a breakdown of the school population by major categories similar to that shown on Slide 9 of the School Board’s Advertised Budget presentation.

7

Please provide a list of restoration options, including costs, for the Fairfax County Park Authority.

56

Please provide a list of sites where adult and continuing education (ACE) programs will be offered in the future as well as a list where these programs used to be offered but no longer will.  Also, provide information on ACE programs being consolidated with County programs, specifically focusing on ensuring that they are being offered across the County.

8

Please provide additional information on the $2.0 million Police Personnel Services increase. Include information on historical spending patterns.

57

Please compare the percent of retirement paid by local Maryland school districts to that paid by FCPS.

9

Please provide a summary of State Aid and Gas Tax used in support of Metro and how it is being applied in FY 2013.

58

Please provide benchmark data comparing Fairfax County’s construction costs against those being experienced by neighboring jurisdictions.  Could design costs be reduced significantly by using previous design models for similar types of facilities such as schools?

10

Provide a list of all reductions included in the County Executive’s recommendation.

59

Please provide a copy of the previous research done by FCPS showing what an additional $25 million per year in GO Bond Sales for FCPS would be able to accommodate.

11

Please provide a breakdown of the proposed 22 additional positions in the stormwater fund.

74

What strategies will FCPS utilize to balance their budget if the General Fund transfer from the County is closer to the amount recommended by the County Executive?

12

Please provide a detailed discussion of the process and statutory authority of the FY 2010 stormwater fee institution.

75

Please provide an analysis comparing the 2013 FCPS Advertised Budget and the current budget situation.  Include the most recent information available from the State.

13

What is the impact of increases in assessed value of the recommended FY 2013 budget on nonresidential property owners?

76

Please provide additional information on the changes to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and the impact they cause on the FCPS budget.  Please provide detailed cost estimates and include options for phasing the changes in over a period of years.

14

Does the increase in Community Funding Pool support offset the anticipated federal reductions in CDBG and HOME funding?

77

What specific actions are being taken as it pertains to non-accredited schools and also what is FCPS doing as it pertains to the Priority Schools Initiative (PSI)?

15

In total, how much money is held in reserve funds within the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services?  Please identify each such reserve fund, the money in each fund, and the purpose of each fund.

78

Referencing page 3 of public hearing testimony, please provide information on specific academic program restorations being considered by FCPS, including the cost of those restorations.  Include discussion of any programs considered but not able to be restored and thus not included in the FCPS testimony.

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 2 (3/20/2012)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

16

Please provide a list of anticipated stormwater projects that the increased fee would be used to cover.

79

Please provide a fiscal impact analysis of the VRS contribution rate and the FCPS contribution to the County retirement system being higher than original projections.

17

Please provide a breakdown of the 10 percent increase for health insurance costs, including the impact on both the County and the employee.

80

Please allocate the $74 million increase that would go to FCPS under the County Executive’s proposed 4.5 percent increase in the General Fund Transfer to FCPS.

18

How does the 2.18 percent Market Rate Adjustment compare to other local jurisdictions?  Include both base pay and full compensation in analysis.

 

 

19

Please provide additional information on the expanded animal shelter facility.  Is all the new space being utilized? Does this expansion preclude consideration of a second shelter being built in the southeastern part of the County if land, funds etc. can be identified?

 

 

20

What is the cost (including salaries, gas, car maintenance, etc.) incurred by the Sheriff’s Department to service process in civil cases – excluding domestic cases? How much of that cost is recovered through charges assessed to the parties to the case?  Assuming not all costs associated with the activity is recovered, of the remainder, is it paid through the state, County, or both, and what is the County’s share?

 

 

21

What is the cost incurred by having Sheriff’s Deputies present as bailiffs in civil courtrooms?

 

 

22

What process, if any, is used to substitute volunteer firefighters for paid firefighters as a way of reducing overtime costs?

 

 

23

What criteria are used to determine when a ladder truck is sent to respond to an emergency call? In an average year how many calls do the ladder trucks respond to, and of that how many do not ultimately require the equipment on the ladder truck in order to carry out the mission? Has the county studied policies from other localities to send smaller vehicles to certain emergency calls, with ladder trucks being held back and used only if needed? If so, what determinations have been made?

 

 

24

How many take home vehicles are used by the Fire and Rescue Department? How many nights per year is each vehicle used for a reimbursable expense?  What would be the cost savings, if any, if some or all of these vehicles were removed and replaced with a policy to pay mileage, at the federal rate, for reimbursable use of a personal vehicle?

 

 

25

What is the average number of firefighters on duty during each shift? How does that number compare with each of the five prior fiscal years?

 

 

26

What is the average number of paramedics on duty during each shift? How does that number compare with each of the five prior fiscal years?

 

 

27

What is the average number of police officers on duty during each shift? How does that number compare with each of the five prior fiscal years?

 

 

28

Please identify the maintenance needs of County facilities for the next five years for which funds have not been allocated?  This question does not include routine maintenance, but longer term structural maintenance.

 

 

29

Excluding Public Safety, on average, how many County vehicles are unused each day, broken down by FCPS, Park Authority, and Other County vehicles?

 

 

30

What is the expenditure for the Middle School after School Program, and what fee would need to be imposed to make it budget-neutral?

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 3 (4/12/2012)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

36

For the SACC program, how much is currently spent on subsidizing the fees and what are the criteria for eligibility for the subsidized fee? What is the monthly charge for participation in SACC? How does that charge compare to the market rate cost for similar after school care? Assuming SACC fees are lower, how much additional funding would be raised if SACC fees were increased to that market rate?

 

 

37

Why are the non-general fund rates for refuse collection, refuse disposal and leaf collection flat and not rising for 2011-2013?

 

 

38

In order to take advantage of low current construction costs, what would happen if an additional one-time amount of $25 million of GO Bond Sales were programmed for FCPS?  How would this impact debt ratios?  What would the impact on debt ratios be if the increase were recurring?

 

 

39

Please provide an assessment of the condition of County Libraries as it relates to the timing of rehabilitation in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

 

 

40

Please provide benchmark data comparing Fairfax County’s construction costs against those being experienced by neighboring jurisdictions.  Could design costs be reduced significantly by using previous design models for similar types of facilities?

 

 

41

Should the County pursue the formation of a VEBA as a vehicle for employees to fund retiree health insurance premiums through unused, accrued sick leave balances over 2,080 hours at the time of retirement?

 

 

42

How does the proposed change to retirement eligibility for the Employees’ Retirement System differ from retirement eligibility among our comparator jurisdictions?

 

 

43

Is the County charging the maximum allowed for parking tickets?

 

 

44

Is the County charging the maximum allowed for zoning violations?

 

 

45

When did the County start charging $10 for police incident reports and was it in response to budget pressures?

 

 

46

How does sales tax paid in Fairfax County come back to the County?

 

 

47

How is sales tax paid on internet purchases allocated (from where the store is physically located or from where the merchandise is delivered?)

 

 

48

How much did the County cut from Police in overtime and how much in actual savings has the County realized?

 

 

49

How many electric vehicles are registered in Fairfax County and what would be the revenue loss if the County were to exempt these vehicles from the Personal Property Tax?

 

 

50

Please summarize the Human Services Council recommendations, identifying restorations and new or supplemental funding to existing programs.

 

 

51

Please expand the Human Services Council recommendation chart to include the reductions taken in of each program on the chart over the last three years.

 

 

52

Please summarize the $0.6 million in “Other” Third Quarter adjustments referenced in the Third Quarter presentation to the Board on March 27, 2012.

 

 

53

Please provide a summary of the source of funds being used to support the FOCUS project.  Include any non-IT related funds.  Are any funds being supplied by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS?)

 

 

54

Is the County still providing funding to the Reston Chamber of Commerce to provide a Visitors Center in the Chamber headquarters?

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 4 (4/18/2012)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

60

How much was spent in FY 2011, is projected to be spent in FY 2012 and is included in the FY 2013 Advertised for School Health Aide substitutes?

 

 

61

Summarize the types and levels of services individuals are receiving in the Home Based Care program.

 

 

62

Please provide additional background on the Police Department’s cadet program, including the cost of restoration.  Please include the revenue associated with the fingerprinting function the cadets provide in this analysis.

 

 

63

Please provide additional information on the Marine Patrol, including the cost of restoration.

 

 

64

Are the requested Park Authority restorations noted in speaker testimony (including $212,000 for roof replacement, $200,000 for tennis/basketball court renovations, $150,000 for mowing and general park repairs, $148,000 for limited term staffing supporting cleanliness and sanitation, and $136,000 for Rec-Pac field trips) included in the County Executive’s proposed budget?

 

 

65

Please provide additional information on Access Fairfax, including how it is staffed and funded.

 

 

66

If the Park bond was increased from $50 million to $75 million, what would be the impact of that decision on long term debt capacity?  What would this additional funding support?

 

 

67

Please review the inequities in salaries for head start teachers that are school based versus independent operators (Gum Springs etc.)  How and why did this occur?

 

 

68

Please provide additional information on the Hispanic Committee of Virginia, including where it is funded, how much has been funded the last several fiscal years and whether the organization has been cut.

 

 

69

Please summarize the County’s bicycle program including how much has been cut the last several fiscal years and how much funding remains.  How is the bicycle coordinator position currently being used?  How much in Commercial/Industrial (C&I) tax funds have been dedicated towards bicycle and pedestrian improvement efforts over the past several years?

 

 

70

Is the proposed funding reduction to CSB Vocational and Day Support Services a State or County reduction? What is the impact of the reduction and what would be the cost to restore?

 

 

71

Does the additional funding included as part of the FY 2012 Third Quarter Review for the Community Services Board (CSB) allow them to not have a wait list for Infant and Toddler Connection (ITC) services?

 

 

72

Is there an alternate way to work with the Engineers and Surveyors Institute (ESI) to more efficiently continue the peer review process in order to save funding resources?  Is there a better way to utilize County and developer time so the process goes more smoothly?

 

 

73

What would be the cost to restore the Heritage Resources Specialist III in the Park Authority Budget?  Are there any alternatives that would allow the work to continue without funding the position?

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Carryover Questions – Package 5 (8/29/2013)

Responses to BOS Carryover Questions – Package 5 (9/03//2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

C1

How did the recent increases in health benefits premiums impact employee take home pay?

C8

Beginning on page 134, there is a list of “FY 2014 Recommended Expenditure Adjustments”. On page 135, item F is titled Division Counsel. The item proposes 3 new positions including 2.0 staff attorneys and 1.0 support position. The total amount is $490,625. The description of the request includes the following statement: “The additional staff will allow for more specialization within the office and aims to reduce outside counsel expense.” Please answer the following questions:

a. What efforts has FCPS Counsel made to work with the County Attorney’s Office to reduce FCPS expenditures for outside counsel?

b. Is there additional support the County Attorney’s office could provide FCPS that would eliminate or reduce the perceived need for this additional expenditure?

c. Is the $490,625 a net amount that reflects the saving that FCPS expects to realize as a result of reducing outside counsel expense?

d. Is the $490,625 for a portion of the FY 2014 budget year? If so, how many months are included? What is the estimated expenditure amount for FY 2015 and going forward?

e. Why are these new positions and recurring expenditures included in a carry-over request?

C2

What are the different impacts of bonuses and base salary adjustments on take home pay and retirement benefits?

 

 

C3

What is the current requirement for funds from Bridging Affordability to meet Housing Choice Voucher budget reductions associated with the final impact of sequestration?  What changed from the estimates of May 2013?

 

 

C4

On page 96, under Fund 40300 Cable Communications, there is reference to “unencumbered carryover of which $7,992,506 is unexpended funds related to the design and operation of the I-Net” and that actual FY2013.” Explain in detail: What is the plan for those funds? What will be purchased and when will it be purchased? Why is some portion not available to transfer to the FY2015 starting balance? What amount was expended from Fund 40300 in FY2013 on design and operation of the I-Net?

 

 

C5

On page 101, under Fund 40360 Homeowner and Business Loan Programs, it states in part that “FY2014 expenditures are required to increase $9,453,726 due to carryover of unexpended FY2013 program balances” and that FY2013 “actual expenditures” were only $2,359,301. Explain in detail: Why did the FY2013 Revised Budget Plan for this item include $11,813,027? What is the plan for spending this money and when will it be spent? Why is some portion not available to transfer to the FY2015 starting balance?

 

 

C6

On page 110, under Fund 73000, 73010, 73020, Retirement Systems, it states “the projected rates of return for the three systems for the full year are estimated to be 7.9 percent for the Employees System, 10.9 percent for the Police Officers System, and 11.3 percent for the Uniformed System.” What are the rates of return, separately by retirement System (Employees, Police, Uniformed), for each of the past ten fiscal years?

 

 

C7

On page 111, under Fund 73030 OPEB Trust Fund, it states “Portfolio I of the VACo/VML Pooled OPEB Trust Fund, in which the County invested, returned 12.3 percent during the first ten months of FY2013 (through April 30, 2013).” What are the rates of return for this Pooled OPEB Trust Fund for each of the past ten fiscal years?

 

 

 

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