The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted recently to appropriate more than $25 million of unassigned fund balance for the purpose of creating dozens of new positions, and funding the proposed fiscal 2023 budget and county’s conservation programs.
The unanimous vote includes authorizing the creation of eight new positions each in county administration, the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS), and seven for the Department of Family Services.
Further, the board voted to appropriate $70,000 of the county’s estimated revenues for seven Child Protective Services positions.
“I think this is, overall, a good use of the funds,” Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) said. “We address with urgency the issues that were raised with Child Protective Services and the positions that are needed there.”
Adding positions to CPS would help to comply with the best practice and industry standards for handling caseloads, according to Jan. 4 staff report.
During fiscal year 2021, caseload referrals increased 26% from approximately 2,100 to 2,650. The ratio of specialists to new monthly case assignments is 1:19, which is above the National Association of Social Workers recommended standard of 1:10.
The additional positions will go to support the new Lovettsville District Park.
Further, the additional positions will support the county’s new Office of Safety and Security.
The board voted to transfer up to $40 million of fiscal year 2021 general fund balance to the fiscal year 2023 proposed budget, and reserve $15 million for a contribution to the county’s fiscal reserve.
Additionally, the board voted to pass an amendment to allocate $200,000 of unassigned fiscal year 2021 general fund balance to the Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District in support of the Agricultural Best Management Practices and Tree Replenishing Cost Share Programs.
Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn) made the motion, which received unanimous support. He said due to the increasing costs for engineering studies and permits, to meet the best practices for protecting the floodplains, they have created a four-and-half year backlog of applications.
“Right now, the goal … with this relatively minimal amount is to really put some nice conservation programs and practices in place in the floodplains with this simple move,” Turner said.
The county administrator was also directed by the board to work with staff to develop a reoccurring funding program for soil and water conservation projects. A report is due back by June.