The Stuart Town Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 18 to approve its fiscal year 2022-23 budget.
Mayor Ray Weiland said the town is in excellent financial shape again this year.
“We’re looking at no increases whatsoever on taxes, and we’re going to hold the line on utilities,” he said.
The proposed budget is $1,880,400. Weiland said this includes a $1 per hour raise for town employees “as we try to continue to get them into good shape.”
The town currently has $3.4 million in cash on hand and a total indebtedness of $3.8 million.
“So, we continue to get in better and better shape every year,” he said.
Weiland added that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) still owes the town owes about $1 million in grant money. “So, our cash situation should actually be significantly better,” he said.
Weiland said he believes the town is saving money in the long run from fixing up the water and sewer plant. “So, we spend money to save money and it’s been working well for us,” he said.
Town Manager Bryce Simmons recommended that the council perform an internal rate analysis, “because that’s something that’s going to be required in the event that we have to apply for additional funding.”
In other matters, the council:
*Approved the meeting minutes as amended.
*Heard an update on the waste water treatment plant project.
*Heard an update about public works projects and repairs.
*Discussed ‘goat-scaping’ and the need for a hold-harmless agreement.
*Approved a resolution allowing Simmons to apply for community project funding through the office of Ninth District U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, with the Patrick County Healthy Children Initiative project. Simmons said the initiative would be a partnership between the town, county, and the school system to develop a pedestrian trail with exercise equipment, primarily for the county’s youth.
Simmons said the school system would receive programming funds to focus on nutrition and healthy eating. “Then the county would be able to do an assessment of agricultural property for use in community-type farming,” he said.
*Scheduled a blight committee meeting for Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m.
*Discussed bringing back the Planning Commission.
*Paid the bills.
Town Attorney Christopher Corbett did not attend the meeting.