IW adopts 2020-2021 budget
Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2020
By Stephen Faleski
Supervisor Don Rosie had pushed last month for at least one new school resource officer to be added to Isle of Wight County’s budget for 2020-2021 — preferably at Carrsville Elementary in his district.
But on May 14, Rosie and each of Isle of Wight’s four other elected supervisors voted to adopt County Administrator Randy Keaton’s proposed $79.5 million budget, without adding any additional funding for new employees.
Sheriff James Clarke Jr. had requested five additional SROs earlier this year — one for each of the county’s five elementary schools. Currently, the county only has four — one at each middle school and one at each high school. Newport District Supervisor William McCarty stated that the sheriff was, of course, free to utilize the roughly $4.9 million the board had allocated to his department for the coming fiscal year as he sees fit.
“If Carrsville Elementary is the No. 1 need of our Sheriff’s Department, I think that far outshadows having an officer in animal control,” McCarty said.
“I have yet to hear from the schools that [an SRO at Carrsville] is one of the higher priorities,” added Smithfield District Supervisor Dick Grice. He added that when the county had allocated $800,000-plus to Isle of Wight County Schools in 2018 for school security improvements, an SRO at Carrsville hadn’t been on the school division’s wish list.
Despite an anticipated reduction in revenue due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the adopted budget includes no increases to the county’s current real estate tax rate at 85 cents per $100, or its personal property tax rate of $4.50 per $100. Nor are there any planned increases in water or sewer rates. The adopted budget further calls for Isle of Wight County Schools to receive the same contribution from local tax dollars as it did last year.