Wednesday, August 30, 2023
On Sept. 26, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on the FY 2023 Carryover Budget package. In his July 24, Memo on Transmitting the County's 2023 Carryover Review with Appropriate Resolutions, County Executive Bryan J. Hill reported the county ended the fiscal year with a balance of $203.14 million. County staff recommended how to spend $200.9 million, leaving the Board of Supervisors to decide how to allocate $2.24 million for one-time expenses.
As part of the review of carryover funds for FY 2023, Hill's memo recommended funds for "investments in board priorities,” such as
• $2.58 million for the expansion of youth mental health services
• $8.05 million in investments for the continued support of environmental and energy strategies by the county
• $30 million for enhancements to library collections
• $230,000 for the continuation of the Illegal Sign Removal Program
• Funding totaling $1 million, equally divided at $100,000 between each of the nine district offices and the chairman’s office, to address small-scale capital projects.
The $1 million is intended to support "modest yet impactful (unfunded) capital improvement projects at a low cost," according to an Aug. 23 email from Supervisor John W. Foust, representing McLean, Great Falls, Tysons, and portions of Herndon.
The funding source is familiar, and in other years, organizations such as local associations have requested funding for specific projects in the districts they represent. The Great Falls Citizens Association Board of Directors is asking its members for suggestions “to compete for surplus funds for the Dranesville District.”
Upgrades to existing streetlights, installation of new streetlights based on safety concerns and resident requests, construction of missing trail segments and walkways, and repairs to pedestrian bridges were typical projects utilizing this funding source in the past. This funding is often essential for connecting neighborhoods, activity centers, revitalization centers and schools, and it supports the county's One Fairfax commitment by providing resources to address gaps and promote equitable access for all, according to Hill's FY2023 carryover review.
Who else can request county carryover funding, what other funding sources are there, and who can make the requests may come as a surprise.
A spokesperson for Fairfax County confirmed in an email dated Aug. 25 that "other jurisdictions and organizations are not precluded from requesting capital project funds,” including the Town of Herndon, the Town of Vienna, and the City of Fairfax could propose capital improvement projects for funding.
However, the county spokesperson noted that the towns and the city have their respective capital improvement programs to fund their jurisdictional capital project priorities.
As for support for nonprofits and for-profit businesses, the county has a Contributory Fund, which was established in 2001, so those groups can apply for funding from the total budget surplus if their projects benefit community members.
The Contributory Fund provides annual appropriations to nonprofit organizations to promote community health and welfare. The non-profit's submission of an annual report updating its financial status and service delivery is a prerequisite for receiving funding. Requests are due annually in the fall for consideration in the following fiscal year.
New contributory agencies or changes to existing contributions outside of the annual budget process are typically requested through a member of the Board of Supervisors. County contributions are generally limited to non-profit organizations.
“County contributions are generally limited to non-profit organizations; however economic development initiatives by for-profit entities could be considered for funding through the County’s Economic Opportunity Reserve,” said the county spokesperson. Typically, members of the Board of Supervisors initiate these nominations, he said.
The carryover balance for FY 2023 is primarily the result of higher-than-anticipated property tax receipts, other local taxes, and revenue from the federal government's use of money and property. In addition, county agency disbursements were lower than anticipated due to continued tight expenditure management and prolonged vacancy rates, according to the Carryover Budget Package for Fiscal Year 2023 (Management and Budget).
Visit these sites to learn more about carryover funding opportunities. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget/fy-2023-carryover-budget-package