CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Chesterfield County has a new budget. We did a little more digging to see how slashing more than $10 million affects the bottom line for both schools, and Parks & Recreation - two vital departments for area families.
There may not have been a loud sigh of relief, but today, in the middle of a board of supervisors meeting, the Parks Department got the news it was praying for.
"We're looking at a lot of use of fees, a lot of work with some partners in the community, but all the facilities will be open and a major portion of the programs will still be there come next year," said Mike Golden, with the Parks Department.
Amendments to next fiscal year's budget came in the 11th hour. Somehow, the county found the funds to keep parks and community programs alive.
"We have 4 million visitors to the parks every year. So many of those folks will now have a better opportunity to see those places," said Golden.
But the department didn't miss the financial chopping block completely.
"There still are a couple positions that will be lost, but it's just a couple now, rather than several," he said.
Small numbers compared to Chesterfield schools, which is already eliminating about 200 positions and decreasing pay.
"It prevents the second list of cuts from including additional pay decreases," said Frank Cardella, President of the Chesterfield Education Association.
Frank Cardella's feeling bittersweet. Supervisors agreed to return $12 million to the school system -- money it was able to save up over the last few years. But the schools needed $16 million to keep from making extra cuts.
"You still have to look at those people who are going to lose their jobs and say I'm sorry, we couldn't protect all of you," Cardella said.
The county also approved a new $25 per year recycling fee for each single family household effective July 1. Opt-out option details are being developed. For more information on the recycling program or fee please call Chesterfield County at (804) 748-1297.