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The original item was published from 6/8/2017 3:02:47 PM to 6/28/2017 9:33:23 AM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: June 8, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Public hearing on budget draws no comments

Photo of exterior of Municipal Building

City Council on Tuesday night held a public hearing on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, but the hearing drew no comments from citizens. The final step in the budget process will take place at the next Council meeting on June 20. At that meeting, City Council will vote on whether to adopt the budget.

City Council must adopt a budget no later than June 30. The final budget will serve as a framework for city operations from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.

No vote could take place on the budget Tuesday night following the public hearing because the City Code requires a first reading. A first reading is an introductory step that serves to provide public notice of pending action.

The proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes additional crime reduction initiatives, invests more money in public schools and continues projects designed to grow Danville.

In addition to costs associated with the City Council focus areas, the proposed budget maintains municipal services remain at current levels and sets aside funds for employee raises and increases in employee health insurance, employee retirement contributions and medical supplies for inmates at the City Jail.

The proposed budget includes increases in the real estate tax rate, personal property tax rate and lodging tax as follows:

  • 7 cents in the real estate tax rate, from 73 cents to 80 cents per $100 in value.
  • 50 cents in the personal property tax rate, from $3 to $3.50 per $100 in value.
  • a one percentage-point increase in the hotel/motel lodging tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.

The increase in the real estate tax rate is the first since fiscal year 2003. The current tax rate of 73 cents is second only to Williamsburg for cities and 33 cents lower than the state average. Under the new 80-cent rate, a homeowner with a house valued at $75,000 will pay an additional $52.50 per year or $4.38 per month

In addition to holding a public hearing on the budget Tuesday night, City Council voted to:

• Table a proposed ordinance to amend the zoning code to allow for enforcement of code violations by civil penalties instead of criminal enforcement. A public hearing will precede the vote.

  • Rezone property at 656 Holland Road to allow it to be consolidated with adjacent property. A public hearing will precede the vote.
  • Accept a grant of $173,611 for the victim witness assistance program operated by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
  • Accept a grant of $44,635 to be used to fund the salary of an attorney or victim’s advocate to work in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court dealing with victims of domestic violence.

Also in the business session, Mayor John Gilstrap presented a proclamation for “National Ride to Work Day.”

Council’s meeting included a business session followed by a work session. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that may be voted upon in future business meetings.

During the work session, City Council scheduled votes on the following items for its next business session, which will be held on June 20.

  • appointments to nine board and commissions.
  • a resolution to add smart programmable thermostats and high efficiency natural gas furnaces to the Homesave energy efficiency program.
  • a resolution to authorize American Municipal Power to manage the revenue meter at the City’s Schoolfield hydro facility.

River City TV airs live all Council business sessions. The first rebroadcast will be at 8 p.m. Thursday. Watch it on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122). The taped broadcast is available now on River City TV’s Facebook page.

River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.

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