- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:00
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All members of town council were present at the monthly council committee meetings and a special Town Council meeting held on Thursday, Aug. 26, with the exception of Burkett Lyburn.
Special Town Council meeting
Council met to discuss Resolution 37-10, a budget amendment correcting the 2010-2011 school division’s budget. At issue is a request from Superintendent Donna Power to add $480,104 to the current school budget. The additional revenue includes VPSA Technology “carry forward,” federal grants, and late notification of Regional Governor’s School flow through. Also listed are deductions in federal stimulus funds and preschool funding. These items total $385,104.
Also included in the requested amount is $95,000 additional funds generated from tuition, E-rate and Medicaid. According to Power, the items listed above totaling $95,000 were line items specifically left out of the preliminary budget as presented to council at the beginning of the year in order to allow more time to verify and more accurately predict expected revenue totals.
Council members unanimously agreed to approve amending the school budget in the amount of $385,104 and asked for further documentation from the school on the remaining requested amount of $95,000. School Board Chairman Tim Trivett, clearly frustrated at the delay caused by the request by council for further documents, asked council “you’ve had this budget document for three months, why didn’t you ask for this sooner?” Responding to Trivett, council member Karen Payne noted “we’ve repeatedly asked for information” and council member Sparky Ridgely noted “we will move expeditiously on this.”
The Colonial Beach school system had requested local funding from town council for the 2010-2011 budget in the amount of $1.9 million. Town council funded the school at $1.7 million, leaving the school scrambling to come up with additional funding sources in order to keep from cutting personnel. The school’s total operating budget for 2010-2011 is $7.4 million, with $1.7 million of that total coming from the town. Federal and state revenue make up the bulk of the budget.
Gary Mitchell, Director of Zoning, reported on Level of Service standards, which will be presented to full council as part of the Capital Improvement Plan being developed by the Planning Commission. Town Manager Val Foulds reported that staff is working on a plan to clean up Eleanor Trailer Park and is looking to hold a community clean up day throughout town. The committee discussed selling town-owned rights of way to adjacent property owners and asked staff to proceed to develop options for appraising and advertising the parcels. Committee agreed to include on the agenda for the next council meeting a presentation by the Monroe Point townhomes developers to discuss lowering water and tap fees.
Committee member Shane Buzby proposed creation of a Revitalization Committee. Members would be appointed by the mayor and would work to encourage projects within the community to beautify and improve the appearance of the town. Committee members unanimously agreed to include a resolution at the next town council meeting to form a committee.
Water and Sewer
Committee Chair Gary Seeber opened discussion on the chronic water leak at Colonial and Washington. Robert Murphy, Director of Public Works, noted that it is an ongoing problem as there is a large pipe flowing into a small pipe which results in leakage. Murphy noted that there are about 150 “hot spots” in the pipe infrastructure, which will be addressed in the Capital Improvement Plan.
Streets and Roads
Committee Chair Karen Payne noted that tar and chip paving is complete on Santa Maria. Committee members asked staff to look into the feasibility of a gasoline tax dedicated to fund road improvements. The town is expecting to take over maintenance of town roads from VDOT in 2011 based on increased population figures arising out of the 2010 census.
Committee Chair Shane Buzby reported on the recent APBA jet ski races and thanked the police department and fire and rescue for a great job. Ridgely reported that fire and rescue calls were up 25 percent in July. There were 70 total calls: 21 fire, two accidents, 43 EMS and four public service calls. The volunteers worked a total of 218.68 man hours. Police Chief “Butch” Wells reported that there are two available positions at the police department. He also noted that he is working on a plan to make the department more competitive in recruiting and retaining personnel. Foulds reported that only 15 citizens had signed up for the Alert Now system. Major Kenneth Blevins, Sr., reported that he had researched grant money to purchase decibel meters. It is expected that the town will pass a noise ordinance that relies on decibel meters in order to have a noise ordinance in place that can be enforced in court.