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Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Committee meetings: No new taxes in budget

With an election seven days away for three council seats, the sitting town council has its plate full. Revenues are projected down by $163,230 for the proposed 2010-2011 budget; someone is flushing diapers and children’s clothing, which is clogging the pump at the Stratford Pump Station at the expense of thousands of dollars and hundreds of staff man-hours; and the recently passed noise ordinance will to have to be repealed before tourist season begins or town businesses will suffer. These issues and others were discussed in council committee meetings and will be on the agenda for the town council’s May 13 meeting.
At the Tuesday Budget Committee meeting held on Tuesday, April 22, Town Manager Val Foulds presented committee members with a draft budget for fiscal year 2011. Although this year’s budget continues on a downward economic spiral, no new taxes were included.
According to the draft budget, general fund revenues for the town will be down $163,230 from fiscal year 2009-10 and general fund expenses will be down $166,521, leaving the general fund with a surplus of approximately $3,000.

Read more: Committee meetings: No new taxes in budget

Noise ordinance is a nuisance for council

The Colonial Beach Town Council held a public hearing at its April 8 meeting on proposed changes to the noise ordinance. The proposed ordinance’s focus on timing raised concerns with council members
The rewrite of this ordinance came in the wake of a Virginia Supreme Court decision that challenged the use of decibels to determine if noise was deemed a nuisance to others.
The biggest concern citizens had with the new noise ordinance was the time that noise was restricted particularly in regard to residential areas.
The new ordinance restricts noise that is plainly audible between 12:01 a.m. and 7 a.m. (i) inside the confines of the dwelling unit, house or apartment of another person or (ii) at 50 or more feet from the device, except for devices permitted to be used at public parks of recreation fields, sporting events, school-sponsored activities on school grounds or duly authorized parades, public functions or commemorative events.
Residents are worried that with the time designation and no mention of decibel restriction it leaves the possibility for people to create noise at a disturbing level the rest of the time.
After public comment was heard, discussions between council members revealed they too shared concerns that the ordinance left too much time for people to legally disturb the public.
Council member David Coombes asked for the rationale for limiting the violations to between 12:01 a.m. and 7 a.m.  Police Chief Christopher Hawkins replied that in the past that was the time limit used and it had not been changed in the new ordinance.

Read more: Noise ordinance is a nuisance for council

CB School Board continues requests for federal funds

At last week’s Town Council meeting the agenda was short but conversation was long particularly when it came to the subject of the School Board’s request for allocation of federal funds in the amount of $360,000.
Mayor Fred Rummage made a motion to add the request to the agenda saying the School Board has requested federal funds that have not been used and up to this time have not been authorized by the town.
Councilman Ronald “Sparky” Ridgely voiced an objection to the mayor’s request to add the item to the evenings agenda saying: “The town manager requested data from the school superintendent two weeks ago and that same information is requested from all department heads or agencies requesting any change in appropriations. With this information, the budget committee, the CFO, the town manager and town attorney would have the necessary time to review the material and to discuss it tonight.”
Ridgely stated that the package was received late Tuesday afternoon and that Town Manager Val Foulds continues to go over this information and the parties involved have not had any opportunity to collectively review this information.
Ridgley ended by saying: “There is no recommendation one way or the other coming out of the Budget and Finance Committee tonight as a result of it and I urge my colleges to reject adding this to the agenda tonight because we simply aren’t ready for it.”
Rummage replied: “I will press the issue. If the council is dissatisfied with that they can make a motion to strike it and it will have to be voted on.”
Ridgely moved immediately to strike Rummage’s motion strike and Ridgely’s motion was seconded.
Council member Steve Kennedy questioned whether the issue could

Linda Farneth
Staff reporter

Briefly: Colonial Beach committee meetings

Public work committee meeting
The public works committee meeting began with a discussion concerning the expense of snow removal for this year’s snowstorms.
Public Works Director Rob Murphy reported that the time spent on snow removal included 80 hours of overtime and totaled 100 hours including regular hours.
“We incurred calls for two new replacement plows; about $10,000 in plows and a little more in repairs. The total cost was over $15,000,” Murphy said/
He reported that Public Works changed the way it performed snow removal by cutting shifts back to six hours and using smaller plows.
“This was more successful for the narrow streets especially where cars where lined up on the side of the road,” Murphy said.

Read more: Briefly: Colonial Beach committee meetings

Property values still hot topic at CB town council

The Colonial Beach Town Council meeting began last Thursday with a discussion on the recent property value assessments completed by Pearson Assessment Services, which was were hired by Westmoreland County.  
County Supervisor Larry Roberson discussed a presentation given by Fred Pearson at the last Board of Supervisors meeting and said he, like many other citizens, had gripes about the reassessment since his property values went up 150 percent.
“I’m not happy with that” Roberson said.

Read more: Property values still hot topic at CB town council

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