Village News, 4/9/20

Dear West Springfield Neighbor / Friend,

I hope all are safe and healthy. My family is, thankfully. Few items today

County Budget AdjustmentsYou can view the revised budget proposal here. All proposed tax rate and fee increases (3 cent raise in tax levy and 4% admissions entertainment tax) have been eliminated to reduce pressure on us, the County’s taxpayers.  The increased RE property assessment increases remain in place, but no change to the levy.

Our property is assessed in value periodically based on several factors to include comparable home sales in the area. And then the levy (tax per $100 of assessed value) is applied to give us our tax liability for owning a home in Fairfax County. Even without an increase in levy – we should, on average still see about $172 increase in our tax bill due to increases in assessment.

Proposed spending has been refocused on essential services only, which means no pay/compensation increased, but also no reductions in pay or reduction in force manning.

New positions have been drastically reduced from 177 to 20 – with all but one of these positions directed to the Health Department to boost the County’s efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic. There is little funding to expand services, but existing programs will be preserved.

Budget proposal now maintains equal growth for the County and Schools (0.32% for each instead of what had been 3.65% to FCPS. FCPS will still receive an increase in the transfer, but it will be reduced from $85.52 million to $7.31 million for the Operating Fund. All should know that the operating fund is only one source of revenue for schools.

Important to note that most reductions were removed from the budget proposal, but “deferred” until after our economy has recovered. Sounds like we’ll see the RE tax levy increase and admissions tax and others sooner than later. County will want to implement changes as soon as possible to maintain its “premier status”. According to the county executive officer “Our future may be leaner, and will certainly be more efficient, as we use different tools to provide the services that are needed for our community.” That enhanced efficiency is what most of us have wanted for quite some time now. I, for one wish county and FCPS success in working more efficiently.

You can and should share your comments about the revised budget proposal with the entire Board of Supervisors by emailing ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov.

School Nurses – Are the school nurses (RNs) being utilized during school closures for Covid-19 response? The question arose after we hear on the news about the additional need for more health professionals. The school nurses with FCPS are actually Fairfax County Health Department employees, not school employees. School health public health nurses are involved on this COVIG – 19 response. They are rostered and being used in shifts on FC HD incident management team, logistics section, in the call center and on field response teams.  The exact number deployed each day is variable, but they are involved and certainly being used to the maximum extent possible.

Yard Trash - Curbside collection of yard debris has been suspended until further notice. Fairfax County residents are strongly discouraged from taking their yard waste to the I-66 Transfer or to the I-95 Landfill, at least until the virus is controlled. Read more.

Inova - has facilitated roughly 3,500 tests across the region through their five hospitals and Respiratory Illness Clinics. They are also working to obtain the equipment needed to process COVID-19 testing in-house.

National Parks - The National Park service is modifying operations on a park-by-park basis. Park gates and parking lots have been closed for Great Falls Park and along the George Washington Parkway.  Outdoor areas of the Great Falls Park and the George Washington Memorial Parkway including Theodore Roosevelt Island and Fort Hunt Park remain accessible to the public by foot or by bike.

Raff, the Runaway! Daniel & Amanda Martin’s turtle jumped ship to go run with the Brumbies for about 36 hours. They (Daniel & Amanda) were very thankful for the village response and offers to help find Raff. A very special dog, Kenzie was inquisitive to a new smell and literally dug Raff up! Special thanks also to: Bob & Helen Brien (Loudoun), Wendi & Paul Dorey (Barnack), Dale & Beth Marhanka (Barnack), Cindy Stark (Loudoun) and Hugh Harrison (Rolling Road). Our FaceBook Group really works folks!

Need Help? Thanks to those willing to help others. Let us know if or when you are close to being out of essential items – we should be able to help provide for each other.  We can ask for help without mentioning names. Please do what the experts say we should do to stay healthy. Some communities have their senior citizens post a green piece of paper in their front window to indicate that all is good and nothing needed, or a yellow piece of paper meaning that they are ok, but need help getting groceries or meds or similar. In emergencies, they post a red piece of paper indicating that something is wrong and they need help. Of course it means nothing unless your neighbors are aware of the plan. You can also set off your car alarm using your key fob’s panic button. It might be a good time to confirm that at least one of your trusted neighbors has a key to your home.

Membership Meeting – 7:30 PM, 14 May conducted via Zoom Video Conferencing. More instructions will be included in enews as we get close, but we now know after our trial run today that iPhones, iPads and similar Androids or home computers can be used. Many of us are familiar with the system, but get ready by downloading Zoom and reading over the associated “how to” literature.  

Memorial Day Picnic & Pool Party – is cancelled as is the 13 June Village Cleanup. We have not cancelled the village yard sale yet, but it is doubtful.

John Cooley, CAWSV

 

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