- Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:30
- Published on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:30
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It was just a miscalculation.
Due to a $1.6 million dollar mistake made in council’s recently passed 2011/2012 budget, and because the School Board passed a budget based on incorrect numbers, council member Karen Payne spoke out at the July Town Council meeting. The $1.6 million local effort for the Colonial Beach schools appeared twice in the ordinance document, and was added in twice in the budget resulting in a seemingly additional $1.6 million appropriation for the schools and a
comparable increase in the “Grand Total All Funds” category.
Payne stated the mistake was “an error in calculations, not an error in appropriations.” Payne continued, “I accept responsibility for that as a member of the budget committee.” Council then passed an “Amendment/Clarification to the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Budget” which had been modified by deleting the “Grand Total” at the bottom of the ordinance and inserting an asterisk with the words “including in school operations” to identify the local school transfer which is included in the “School Operations” budget. Although Council believed this amendment/clarification corrected the 2011/2012 budget, the budget will be revisited one more time to correct a mathematical error that remains.
The format used in Ordinance 605 has been in use since at least 2008. According to Mayor Fred Rummage “This procedure has been used for a number of years. We will not see that mistake again.”
Council unanimously approved Ordinance 606 with one modification approving the abandonment of town-owned waterfront land that Francis Tate had applied to purchase. The portion of land lies between Tate’s property and Monroe Bay. Other neighboring land owners have either applied or been approved for sale of the strip of land previously referred to as Scenic Drive.
Council member Mike Ham reported, as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, he had been in contact with a “management group” that is trying to re-open the old Day’s Inn. Currently there is a tax lien on the property filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The bank which carries the note on the property and/or the management group are looking to resolve the issue of the tax lien so that improvements can be made and the hotel, now called Colonial Inn can be re-opened.
During citizen comment, Peter Fahrney, speaking on behalf of The Colonial Beach Foundation, spoke to a 2006 request made by the Foundation to “consider making the entire length of Monroe Creek and Monroe Bay a 6 mph/”No Wake” boating zone.” Both the town of Colonial Beach and Westmoreland County have jurisdiction on the creek and bay, with the county governing the west side and the town governing the east side of the Bay.
Fahrney noted that “We have a dangerous situation. It is past time to make it a safe place for all,” and urged council to issue new regulations. “The two greatest safety threats to those enjoying the Bay, including young swimmers at Dickson Point, are speed and wake damage,” continued Farhney.
According to Town Attorney, Andrea Erard, Virginia State Code provides a method to change current laws and regulations. The Town can apply to the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries and then enact a local ordinance. Council unanimously approved Ordinance 604 which changes the dates for local elections from May to November. Council members Ronald “Sparky” Ridgely, Burkett Lyburn, Karen Payne and Mayor Fred Rummage will continue to serve their elected term through December 31, 2012. Members Mike Ham, Gary Seeber and Shane Buzby will serve their terms through Dec. 31, 2014.