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Budget or bust: Schools run risk of $1M giveback

Division short of money for pay hikes, some mandated

Squad leaders: ‘We’re not going to make it’

With fewer volunteers and more calls, rescue squads request funds for paid staff

Hemp: Real deal or flash in pan?

Many take wait-and-see approach on hemp growing until state writes regulations


Comets clobber Martinsville 23-0

The pitchers are throwing strikes and the defense has been strong. And the offense has been fairly potent.





Solid waste fee rises to $75, supes enact $94 mil budget / May 10, 2018
The solid waste disposal fee that property owners pay will rise from $50 to $75 annually following a vote by the Halifax County Board of Supervisors on Monday.

Supervisors, acting in their capacity as directors of the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority, voted 6-1 to raise the annual fee, which will generate an additional $338,000 for county coffers.

The lone opposing ballot was cast by ED-6 supervisor Stanley Brandon. Board members Joey Rogers and Jeff Francisco were absent from the afternoon session.

The action came after a Monday afternoon public hearing that drew comments from only two speakers — both of whom expressed mixed but generally positive views on raising the fee, which is billed to all county addresses listed in the 911 system.

Glenn Williamson, who lives near Virginia International Raceway, said the increased fee is certainly “not excessive” since as a former Danville resident, he is accustomed to having to pay $16 per month for solid waste service.

Bernie Mitzler, a Nathalie resident, said he, too, feels the increase is needed to close the shortfall that has resulted from the annual $1.7 million cost to operate the solid waste collection system and the $900,000 in revenue that the $50 fee has generated. Mitzler said he much prefers to pay a higher solid waste fee rather than see a tax increase on the backs of real estate owners.

Also Monday, the Board of Supervisors approved the county’s $93,980,814 budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which starts on July 1, and runs through July 30, 2019.

The budget will rise by $1,109,998 — or 1.2 percent — over the current year’s budget. However, the package does not increase personal property or real estate tax rates, although it does include additional revenue from the higher solid waste fee.

The new budget allocates money for five replacement vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office, and an additional $44,406 for volunteer fire departments.

The budget also earmarks an additional $313,130 to pay the county’s share of housing inmates at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail, and it includes a $251,004 increase for the 911 Dispatch Fund.

County schools will receive $14,250,077, and the Rescue Squad will see a 43 percent funding increase, totaling $223,000.

The budget calls for all full-time county employees to receive a two percent raise.

The library will receive $15,000 more than previously budgeted, and the museum will receive $4,000.

Contributions to the Industrial Development Authority were cut by $25,000, and the county will pay $110,000 less in the coming year for insurance after switching policies from the Virginia Municipal League to VACO (Virginia Association of Counties.)

Funding for Buildings and Grounds will drop by $100,936 — a consequence of the courthouse being vacant during the coming year — and Ag Development funding will be reduced from $78,291 to $63,760.

County Administrator Jim Halasz was quick to remind supervisors that he strongly feels next year’s budget will have to see an increase in taxes in order to maintain local government operations in the coming year.

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The County Administrator should be fired, he has no concept of the poverty in this county. What a DOPE!!!

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