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Halifax approves budget, seeks funds for turn radius / June 15, 2017

Halifax Town Council on Tuesday night gave final approval to the town’s $1,025,540 budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget is nearly 20 percent lower than the current version and contains no tax or fee increases. The new budget takes effect July 1.

Administrative costs account for 36 percent of all town spending, with the police department taking up a 33 percent share of the budget. The sanitation department accounts for 13 percent of all spending, with another seven percent dedicated for streets, four percent for the municipal building, five percent for the fire department, and two percent set aside for business development.

The town budget earmarks $11,500 for the local library, $1,250 for the YMCA and $600 for Dixie Youth baseball.

Council members also voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution asking the Commonwealth Transportation Board to support the town’s VDOT Smart Scale Application for $534,877. If the grant is successful, the money will be used to pay for a turning radius improvement at Main Street and Mountain Road.

Police Chief Stuart Comer presented his report on his department’s activities during the past month. Responding to a citizen’s request for tougher policing of traffic in town crosswalks, Comer laughed that he had, while in uniform, almost been run over while crossing the street at a crosswalk.

Business owner and president of the Village Association Marsha Hite said she worried every time she had to walk across the street.

In their work session before the regular monthly meeting, Council members heard an update on the Friday Nite Jam event that was held on June 2 with more than 100 paying customers. They also heard a report on the upcoming Farmers Market Grand Opening, set for next Saturday, June 24.

Council members also discussed potential uses for a recent $590,000 grant award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the local Brownfields Assessment Coalition, which includes the towns of Halifax and South Boston and Halifax County. The money will be used to help redevelop abandoned business sites, with the Burlington property in Halifax among the possibilities for rehabilitation.

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