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Halifax County’s unemployment rate jumped from 8.3 percent in June to 8.8 percent in July. Over 900 people left the labor force, which numbered 15,974 in June, but fell to…

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Grant funding boosts Halifax town budget

SoVaNow.com / April 11, 2013
The Town of Halifax’s budget for the new year is slated to rise 39 percent under a proposal unveiled Tuesday night at the monthly meeting of Town Council.

Council members got their first look at the proposed package, which calls for spending $1,406,354 in the upcoming fiscal year commencing July 1. The current budget is slightly more than $1 million.

The increase is largely due to the inclusion of a $487,000 VDOT grant award for the Banister River Gateway project.

Also included in the upcoming year budget is a $10,000 contribution from the Town to the Halifax Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a new pumper truck.

A new item is also included in the proposed budget — an $11,000 contribution requested by the Halifax Library. That expenditure, Council members noted, remains under discussion.

The budget also calls for a 2 percent cost of living (COLA) increase for all Town employees.

Council also approved a lease-purchase agreement to acquire four new police cars and a new trash truck. The seven-year contract for the police cars requires an initial payment of $20,218.88 to be made beginning with the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which starts in July of next year. Likewise, the first of the seven payments on the trash truck of $9,899.94 would also come due in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Both Town Manager Carl Espy and Finance Chairman Dennis Witt pointed out that the trash truck is over 12 years old and is in bad shape. So, too, are the police vehicles, with repair costs totaling over $8,000 annually.

The proposed budget calls for no increases in either real estate or personal property taxes. Rates will remain at 17.5 cents per $100 value for real estate and at $1.68 per $100 value for personal property.

The budget, however, does call for a 10 cent per $100 value hike in the machinery and tools tax, going from 40 cents to 50 cents.

Council agreed to set a public hearing on May 14 to receive citizen input on the budget proposal. That is the regular date for the May Council meeting.

Council will also host a second public hearing on May 14 on a request by Eddie Tate for a special use permit. The permit would allow him to operate a mobile food truck at 5264 Halifax Road (on Spencer Hill). The public hearing will also focus on proposed amendments to the Town Code which defines certain uses allowable in C-1 zones of the Town.

Following up on a request from Mayor Dick Moore, Council will consider lowering the speed limit along Cowford Road toward the railroad tracks from 45 mph to 35 mph. Council members also asked Town Police Chief Kevin Lands to look into any areas of the Town where the speed limit remains at 45 mph. Council members indicated they would like to see a townwide limit of 35 mph.

Earlier during their work session Council heard plans for the Town’s upcoming Earth Day celebration next week. Events coordinator Susi Robbins said she expects to have at least 15 vendors present with numerous events planned for the youngsters.

A committee of the Village Association along with Espy and Moore are looking at a location for placement of the town clock which the association has purchased. Espy said he is awaiting a preliminary design for placement of the clock which should be forthcoming soon so the clock, which is currently in storage, can be put to use.

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Comments

Now I know why the cops are running more radar, I thought it was just to pay for the hotel room for the new chief, but I guess the town has bigger plans. Show your displeasure with the increase and tell the merchants that if the town council does not cut spending, you won't spend money in the town.


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