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No comments lodged on South Boston budget

SoVaNow.com / May 16, 2019
The first reading of South Boston’s 2019-20 budget was approved by Town Council on Monday night, with no tax increases being proposed in the $10,665,703 budget.

With all Council members present for the May 13 meeting, a quick read-through of the budget led to a motion to approve the first reading by Councilman Winston W. Harrell. There was no public comment, leading to unanimous approval by the Council.

The budget, which incorporates only a few deviations from previous years, allots the majority of the town’s funds to the police department and other public works departments — with $2,478,308 slated for the police department, and $2,975,792 for public works.

Additionally, $762,009 will go toward administration, and $710,000 for capital improvement projects. This expenditure is considered one of the budget’s main focal points, as it will assist in repairs still needed for some government buildings.

$75,000 of the capital improvement funds has been set aside for “town building renovations,” according to Deputy Financial Director Mickey Wilkerson, and could be used to renovate the town’s Fire Department on top of the department’s own $950,179 allotment. These renovations would come after many complaints of the building not having enough room to fit the department’s ladder truck.

Other expenditures added were the cemetery fund, $183,160, and the Joint Drug Task Force fund for $18,000.

Ahead of the budget reading, Jay Stephens, director of South Boston public library, gave a short presentation.

He announced two awards that were given to the library by the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the Outstanding Young Adult Program Award and the Outstanding Cooperative Program Award.

These honors were awarded due to the library’s successful teen coding and technology program and their recent event with author Beth Macy, which highlighted the opioid epidemic in the area.

Stephens thanked Council members for their continued support, gesturing to the awards as he expressed how important the town’s help has been when orchestrating these programs, “this is what [funding] enables us to do.”

A second public reading of the budget will be held in June, with no changes being anticipated in the meantime, according to Town Manager Tom Raab.

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