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Town Council accepts Ham’s resignation

Colonial Beach Town Council made quick work of their last scheduled meeting for the year 2012.  During the meeting, which lasted just under an hour, the council held two public hearings, passed six resolutions, and approved one amendment.


One item of business was to accept the resignation of Mike Ham from his seat as a councilmember to allow him to take office as mayor.  Ham’s resignation from the council will be effective December 31, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. in order to serve as the newly elected mayor of Colonial Beach beginning on January 1, 2013.  Ham joked that he gave himself a two-minute break in between.

 

Public Hearings
The council held two public hearings for Conditional Use Permits to allow two new business owners within a few blocks of each other to set up shop in the Classic Shores subdivision of the town.

After public hearings with no opposition, the council voted unanimously to grant CUP’s for resident Judith M. Carter to conduct the business of dog grooming in her home (located at 2 Second St.) and Kristine M. Guido (located at 37 Fourth St.) to use her home as a bed and breakfast.

Councilman Tommy Edwards joked with Carter saying he hopes she will open soon because his dogs are in dire need of grooming.

Although the town has a business district along Colonial Ave. and Washington Ave., the Comprehensive Plan allows for small home-based businesses throughout neighborhoods in town, as long as they are not disruptive to quiet living. The Point has its share of marine-based businesses and restaurants, but until now the majority of businesses have been primarily confined to locations south of Colonial Ave.

The allowance and success of these two new businesses will also help show the town’s intentions to carry out the new guidelines drafted in the latest version of the Revitalization and Comprehensive Plan making a stronger case for the town to re-apply to the Department of Housing and Community Development for a Revitalization Grant.

School Board to carry over funds
Colonial Beach School System showed a surplus of $163,000 in the school’s fiscal year 2011-12 budget. The overage was due to items purchased, the largest of which was a new school bus, within the 11-12 fiscal year budget, but were not received until after July 1. Upon the town auditor’s insistence, these items must be charged to the schools fiscal year budget for 2012-13.

In response to the overage, the town voted to carry over the $163,000, to the 2012-13 fiscal year budget to pay for these expenses.

Land Studio
The council approved authorization for the Town Manager Val Foulds to execute an agreement with Land Studio to improve competitiveness in order to re-submit the Department of Housing and Community Development, Downtown Revitalization Grant Application in the spring of 2013.

Colonial Beach received a small planning grant to pay for services from Land Studio providing professional planning and grant assistance for downtown revitalization and to submit an application for the revitalization grant last year. The town did not win the grant last year but the council felt the town had too much invested to give up, so the town will now foot the bill for resubmission services in the amount of $12,811.

Personal property tax and schedule
The council also amended a previous resolution, only to clarify personal property tax rates on vehicles. The amendment outlines that all citizens will receive a rebate for autos valued at $20,000 meaning they will pay no taxes on vehicles valued at $20,000 or less. Vehicles valued over $20,000 will only pay for taxes on the value after the first $20,000. For example if your car is valued at $30,000 the taxes will be charged on $10,000. Ham assured the citizens that no one has been over charged and the bills were correct.

Lastly the council approved its January meeting date for the tenth at 7 p.m. At which time the council will hold its annual organizational meeting.

Linda Farneth­­­

 

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