By Nancy Lindsey
Following a public hearing May 18 at which no one spoke, the Stuart Town Council voted unanimously to approve a town budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The budget, which totals $1,694,500 in four categories, provides a 3% salary increase for town employees.
That figure includes $870,300 in the general fund, $168,000 in the sanitation fund, $313,900 in the sewer fund, and $342,300 in the water fund.
Mayor Ray Weiland said the budget for the upcoming year is about 2% higher than the current year’s budget, primarily due to anticipated increases in revenues.
The budget does not require any increases in property taxes or utility rates, Weiland said.
Some of the revenues projected to increase are: business licenses, from $135,000 to $140,000; franchise fees, from $74,000 to $80,000; landfill fees, from $42,000 to $48,000; Public Service Authority (PSA) fees, from $53,500 to $60,000; and salaries and wages, from $406,000 to $433,000.
In other matters at the May 18 town council meeting:
• Wayne Kirkpatrick, a Patrick County representative of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA), reported that the DRBA Club at Patrick County High School had marked between 70 and 80 storm drains in the town of Stuart, and plans to finish the markers and make a map of the town’s storm drains next year.
• Buddy Dollarhite, chief of the Stuart Volunteer Fire Department, told the council that the department needs to upgrade some of its equipment, and would like to do it without asking the town for funds.
He said fire department members are considering trading a 1995 pumper truck for a newer and more up-to-date model.
Dollarhite said the fire department was just looking for permission or the town’s blessing to follow that opportunity.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Weiland said. You’re looking to upgrade without any burden to the town…You have our blessing.”
• Town Manager Terry Tilley, Town Clerk Susan Slate, and Vice Mayor Rebecca Adcock have been looking at new Christmas decorations, and could purchase them for $9,500, which would come out of capital expenditures.
The council voted unanimously to buy the decorations.