Albemarle County to revise budget schedule

Albemarle CountyAlbemarle County is looking at revising its annual budget process to accommodate directives aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

“In the face of COVID-19, inviting the public to attend town halls, budget work sessions, and public hearings is not responsible,” Albemarle County Board of Supervisors chair Ned Gallaway said in a statement Sunday.

Gallaway indicated that he has asked County Executive Jeff Richardson to bring forward a revised budget schedule that will delay further activity on the budget process and extend the schedule such that the Fiscal Year 2021 budget will not be adopted on April 20, as originally planned.

The matter will be considered at the BOS work session on Tuesday.

“What the new timeline will be is not known at this time, but it will be responsive to our community’s resiliency,” Gallaway said.

Any comments about the budget, or any other topic, can be submitted to the Board of Supervisors at bos@albemarle.org or mailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 401 McIntire Road, 2nd Floor, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

All items received through these methods are part of the public record and will be shared with the entire Board of Supervisors.

Upcoming Public Meetings, Programs, and Events

The county continues the process of reviewing public meetings, events, and recreation programs. Please continue to check these messages and the Albemarle County web calendar (www.albemarle.org/calendar) as the status may change as this situation evolves.

New Modifications

Board of Supervisors Meetings

  • March 17 Work Session Will proceed as planned in Lane Auditorium.
  • March 18 Board of Supervisors Meeting Will be pushed to a 5 pm start time with a modified agenda that removes items that do not have a required timeline. This includes the Darden Towe Park Athletic Fields and draft Climate Action Plan agenda items.

Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Meetings & Town Halls – Postponed Until Further Notice

  • Budget Office Hours, March 16 and 24
  • East Rivanna/Stone Robinson Town Hall, March 17
  • Budget Town Hall Meetings, March 19, 24, and 26

Boards & Commissions Meetings – Cancelled

  • Architectural Review Board, March 16
  • Albemarle Broadband Authority, March 25
  • Conservation Easement Authority, March 19
  • Historic Preservation Committee, March 23
  • Natural Heritage Committee, March 19
  • Community Advisory Committee meetings through April 5

Fire Rescue

Albemarle County Fire Rescue personnel are critical during a public health situation such as COVID-19. In order to reduce the risk of transmission to firefighters and EMS professionals, ACFR is no longer allowing the general public to access Fire Rescue stations. This includes station tours and car seat installations. Members of the public seeking assistance with car seat installations should use the car seat hotline, 434-531-6614, to setup an appointment – appointments will be setup at a satellite location while this restriction is in place.

As always, if you are having a medical emergency, please dial 911.

What is Albemarle County doing to prepare?

Public safety agencies use a structure called the Incident Management Team (IMT) to plan for and respond to major incidents, including public health crises like COVID-19. The IMT structure allows us to efficiently direct resources and coordinate across organizations. The IMT is meeting at least twice each week but will continue to adjust meeting frequency to address our community’s needs.

Albemarle County’s IMT has developed a multi-phased plan, in alignment with guidance from the CDC, on what measures to take and when to reduce the spread of disease and to maintain our business operations. The phases of the plan are designed to respond to what happens locally – from the current planning phase through to if local cases are reported.

Albemarle County has implemented the following measures:

For our community

  • Public safety personnel are engaging with nursing homes, group homes, and other vulnerable populations to ensure plans are in place for resident safety
  • Our 911 call-takers are now screening callers reporting specific complaints consistent with COVID-19 symptoms. This measure is intended to ensure our first responders take the necessary steps to provide safe care and is consistent with guidance from the International Association of Emergency Dispatchers.

For our employees

  • Enhanced cleaning protocol for County-operated buildings
  • Canceled work-related travel outside our community for staff and canceled work-related meetings convening people from outside of our community hosted by Albemarle County and/or in County-operated buildings
  • Encourage employees experiencing respiratory symptoms to stay home
  • Signage encouraging use of hand sanitizing stations and/or hand washing throughout building

What Can You Do?

First, share this message with your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Signup to receive these messages in your inbox at  www.albemarle.org/amail .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of resources for businesses, households, schools, and faith-based organizations at  cdc.gov/coronavirus . The CDC is specifically encouraging people to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).

The Virginia Department of Health has resources for the public, travelers, schools, businesses, and large events as well –  www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

Local Resources

The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) is our community’s local public health agency and works closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). TJHD has opened a hotline at (434) 972-6261 to answer questions from the public regarding COVID-19. At this time, that number is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The public can leave messages that will be returned as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.


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