CIP, budget voting set for June

Published 4:02 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

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On Tuesday evening in Windsor Council chambers, there were no speakers during the public hearings voicing support or opposition to either the proposed Capital Improvements Plan or operating budget.

The CIP is for fiscal years 2018-2019 through 2022-2023 for Windsor. This includes improvements that could include public buildings, land, safety, services, streets, utilities and also sidewalks, and any of which could cost more than $1,000.

During discussion, Councilwoman Patty Flemming suggested that better restrooms would be an enhancement at the Wesley Garris Event Park on Duke Street. But fellow council member N. Macon Edwards III disagreed, asking who would be responsible for their maintenance. Vice mayor Durwood Scott said that should Fleming be re-elected later this year, she could consider organizing a fundraising campaign as the mayor has done with the town center.

Nevertheless, some members agreed, it’s an idea that could be revisited at another time.

As previously reported, Windsor’s council is considering an operating budget of $1.784 million for fiscal year 2018-2019. Town Manager Michael Stallings had recommended raising the town’s cigarette tax from its rate of 25 cents per pack to 30 cents per pack and increasing the town’s meals tax from its rate of 5 percent to 6 percent. The former is anticipated to bring in an additional $10,000 per year, while the latter could bring in an additional $40,000 per year.

This is done to balance out a decrease in the town’s bank franchise tax, which is owing to the sale of Citizen’s National Bank and the ever-increasing cost of providing services to town residents.

Another proposed increase is for the town’s water rate by 25 cents per 1,000 gallons, which would take the town’s rate from $7.25 per 1,000 gallons to $7.50 per 1,000. This would result in a new minimum water bill of $26.25 and generate approximately $20,000 in additional revenue for the water fund. Stallings said that increase would enable the town to put a maintenance contract in place on its two existing wells for consistent, routine maintenance.

Further, the town’s after-hours water cut-on fee would go from $30 to $75, making the town’s rate more in line with Isle of Wight County’s. This would apply for residents who call after 4 p.m. asking their water be turned back on after resolving a cut-off due to nonpayment of a water bill.

Dale Scott of the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department addressed council asking for its support to request the County to restore its funding as before, and not to count any received grant funds against the WVFD’s own operating budget.

The meeting will be continued on Tuesday, June 12, starting at 7 p.m. Voting on the CIP and budget are anticipated that evening.